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10901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 17, 2008, 10:23:14 AM
**Even the "Associated with terrorists Press" has to agree**

Iraq's al-Qaeda fighters now ‘furtive terrorists’

Article posted July 17, 2008 - 04:10 PM

COMBAT OUTPOST COPPER, Iraq - It's quiet around here in farm country, south of Baghdad where al-Qaeda once held sway. Just months ago US foot patrols through the wheat fields nearby would regularly draw fire — if the soldiers managed first to elude al-Qaeda-planted roadside bombs.

"The difference is night and day," says Capt. George Morris, 26. He and his soldiers in Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division walked the area this week to visit a handful of farm families five miles east of the town of Latifiyah, not far from the Tigris River.

And it's not just here. Throughout the country, al-Qaeda in Iraq, an insurgent organization thought to be affiliated with the global terrorist network but comprised mainly of Iraqis, has lost so much clout it is close to becoming irrelevant to the outcome of the war. The group has not been eliminated, however, leaving open the possibility of resurgence if the Iraqi government fails to follow up the military gains with civilian services like the irrigation that's badly needed here.

When President Bush announced in January 2007 that he was sending more than 21,000 extra US combat troops to Iraq — mostly to the Baghdad area — as part of a new approach to fighting the insurgency, commanders said their No. 1 focus was degrading al-Qaeda's ability to foment sectarian violence.

In the Latifiyah area, it's not hard to see that goal appears to have been achieved — an accomplishment that adds to the expectation that Bush will be able to further reduce US troop levels this fall.

Iraqi Army Capt. Jassim Hussein al-Shamari, whose men were part of Morris' foot patrol, has one explanation for al-Qaeda's fall.

"The people themselves will turn over the terrorists" if they show themselves, says al-Shamari. He's speaking through an interpreter to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, a deputy commander of U.S. forces in the swath of once-violent territory stretching south of Baghdad from the Iranian border to Anbar province.

Buchanan sees it much the same way.

"The people are fed up with what they experienced under (al-Qaeda's) presence," Buchanan said, adding that the key to keeping the terrorist group down is having the government in Baghdad step in and provide more essential services, like the irrigation that farmers in the Latifiyah area find in short supply.

And there is a troubling disconnect between the central government and local leaders.

"The link to the government of Iraq is almost nonexistent here," Morris said.

So it remains an open question: Once US combat forces depart, whenever that may be, will al-Qaeda find an avenue for resurgence? It is generally accepted among US officers and intelligence specialists that despite its decline, al-Qaeda will remain in Iraq at some level long after the Americans are gone. The group had no meaningful foothold in the country before US forces invaded in March 2003.

There is no available official estimate of the number of al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq. A US intelligence estimate early this year put it at a maximum of 6,000, although it probably has fallen far lower recently. Perhaps more importantly, US officers said in a series of Associated Press interviews over the past 10 days that so many al-Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed that its remnants are ineffective.

Col. Al Batschelet, chief of staff for the US command overseeing military operations in the Baghdad area, said that once the leadership began disappearing, lower-level technicians were pressed into duty.

That had the effect of accelerating the group's decline: the technical experts were not as good at organizing and executing attacks, and by taking the lead they exposed themselves to being captured or killed. That, in turn, has left even less-technically skilled fighters to perform the specialized work of assembling bombs like al-Qaeda's signature weapon, the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, officers said.

The triggering mechanisms of al-Qaeda's bombs have become less sophisticated and less effective, Batschelet said. Also, vehicle-borne IEDs used to contain hundreds of pounds of explosives, but they now typically are only 25 pounds.

"They just can't get the material any more to do what they want to do," Batschelet said. "But they still try. So we are unable to say that we've defeated their will" to continue their acts of violence.

Col. Bill Hickman, commander of 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, sees much the same thing in the neighborhoods of northwest Baghdad where his soldiers have witnessed a dramatic decline in violence this year.

"There are still disrupted cells of al-Qaeda in our area," he said in an interview. "So they're active, but they're not as effective as they used to be. And their IEDs are small IEDs now."

As for eliminating al-Qaeda entirely in Iraq, "That's probably not achievable," said Batschelet.

Although US and Iraqi forces have put enormous pressure on al-Qaeda by pursuing its leaders with relentless raids informed by improved intelligence this year, an even more important factor, arguably, was the decision by Sunni Arabs who had opposed the US occupation to ally with the Americans against al-Qaeda.

Whether those newfound allies — dubbed Sons of Iraq by their Americans benefactors — remain in opposition to the Sunni extremists, or decide to switch sides again, will tell much about al-Qaeda's future in Iraq.

Either way, however, the moment seems to have passed when al-Qaeda could prevail in this conflict. It has been forced out of its original strongholds in Anbar province, and more recently it has lost Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, although it still can pull off a deadly attack there and elsewhere.

Stephen Biddle, an Iraq watcher in Washington at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview that without an urban hideout, al-Qaeda is reduced to the role of being "furtive terrorists."

"If they don't have an urban area with a friendly population that can enable them to operate" — and from which to recruit fighters — "then they're going to be isolated terrorist actors," Biddle said. Thus, eliminating them entirely need not be the goal of US commanders and the Iraqi government.

"That's not central to the outcome of the war," Biddle said. - AP
10902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 16, 2008, 11:04:06 PM
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/is-the-war-over--11599

Over?
10903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 16, 2008, 08:35:12 PM
Rachel,

Funny, I feel worse about Israel's security situation. A nuclear Iran is a mortal threat that has a chance to be stopped, but the window gets smaller daily.
10904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: July 16, 2008, 09:39:38 AM
Mexico: The Early Signs of a Failed State?   
By Congressman Tom Tancredo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mexican law enforcement officials are walking into U.S. ports of entry in increasing numbers to seek political asylum, and the flow may soon become a flood as Mexico's battle with the drug cartels intensifies. Our first instinct is to welcome them, but there is more at stake than humanitarian sentiments.
 
The problem is that if our immigration laws are stretched to grant asylum to law enforcement personnel on the grounds that their own government cannot protect them, any Mexican threatened by these violent criminal gangs can claim the same right of asylum.
 
U.S. immigration law does not easily accommodate these law enforcement cases because they are fleeing threats from organized crime – the Mexican drug cartels – not political persecution by their government. If our laws are stretched to accept thousands of refugees from drug cartel violence, it will only exacerbate Mexico's problems.
 
We can sympathize with the Mexican police chief or prosecutor who lands on a cartel hit list because he will not play ball with them. The Mexican federal government seemingly cannot protect him and his family, so he flees to El Paso or Nogales and seeks asylum. The number of such asylum applications more than doubled in the first six months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, but very few have been approved. What will happen if we do not accept these asylum applications as a humanitarian gesture? What will happen if we do?
 
The rising number of asylum seekers from Mexican law enforcement and the professional classes is a new phenomenon, not merely another facet of our open borders fiasco. These people are not swimming the Rio Grande or sneaking across the Sonora desert. They are walking into our border ports of entry from Texas to California and asking for protection. We must respect them for following our laws and doing it the right way. But we must also ask some hard questions before throwing open our gates. Humanitarian concerns must be balanced against other considerations – because the fate of Mexico hangs in that balance.
 
What happens to Mexico if all the good cops flee to the U.S. or Europe and the only ones left are working hand-in-glove with the criminals? What are the consequences if all the honest judges and prosecutors flee and only dishonest ones are left in charge of the courts? What happens if honest businessmen find it easy to flee to San Diego, Houston or Phoenix and only those who will do the cartels' money laundering are running the nation's trucking companies, farms, and banks?
 
The unpleasant truth is that this new refugee problem is the sign of a deep crisis not in the Mexican economy but in the Mexican political system itself. Mexico exhibits mounting signs of a "failed state," a political system that cannot satisfy the most basic conditions of civic order such as safety in one’s streets, home, school, and workplace. Failing states begin to hemorrhage people and their assets. The middle class begins to flee – doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners, teachers, and of course, law enforcement officials, who are the first targets of criminal organizations.
 
These new "civic disorder refugees" are not like the millions of unemployed or underemployed who leave Mexico to a find a job and a better life. These middle class citizens have jobs – often good jobs by Mexican standards – but they do not have security for themselves or their families. They would much prefer to stay in Mexico but they cannot do so safely, so they flee.
 
If police chiefs and judges cannot be protected from the cartels, then how can ordinary citizens feel safe? If we open the gates to everyone who has a "credible fear" of the cartels, the Border Patrol will no longer have to worry only about people jumping the fence. Thousands will be waiting in line at one of over 300 ports of entry.
 
This new "emigration from fear" poses an urgent challenge for Mexico. If Mexico wants to win its battle against the drug cartels, it must begin by reforming its police and criminal justice systems so that honest cops, judges and mayors – and journalists – can do their jobs without undue fear of retaliation. To his credit, President Calderon has begun to tackle this problem.
 
Military operations against the cartel strongholds are probably necessary, but they can never be a substitute for a functioning criminal justice system. Mexican citizens must be able to trust the local police, and local police must be able to trust their government to protect them from gangster-terrorists.
 
The United States must not become an automatic escape valve for honest officials threatened by cartel violence. If that happens, Mexico will lose its most valued civil servants and become increasingly a militarized (and polarized) society.
 
Mexico is not yet a failed state, but if humanitarian sentiment and special interest pleadings in the U.S. block sound immigration policy – as happens all too often in American law and politics – we will hasten that tragic development.
10905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 16, 2008, 09:31:15 AM
http://HTTP://WWW.impact-se.org/

Why peace isn't possible.
10906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 16, 2008, 09:22:20 AM
http://muttaqun.com/auliya.html

Auliya
(Friends, Protectors, Helpers, Supporters)

According to Quran and Sunnah

WWW.MUTTAQUN.COM



Christians and Jews


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah 5:51
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as 'Auliya' (friends, protectors, helpers etc.), they are but 'Auliya' to one another.  And if any amongst you takes them as 'Auliya' then surely he is one of them.  Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust)."


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Mumtahinah 60:1-9, 13
1. O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism, this Qur'ân, and Muhammad  ), and have driven out the Messenger (Muhammad  ) and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allâh your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in My Cause and to seek My Good Pleasure, (then take not these disbelievers and polytheists, etc., as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims) does that, then indeed he has gone (far) astray, (away) from the Straight Path.

2. Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil, and they desire that you should disbelieve.

3. Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection (against Allâh). He will judge between you. And Allâh is the All-Seer of what you do.

4. Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrâhim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allâh, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allâh Alone," except the saying of Ibrâhim (Abraham) to his father: "Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allâh) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allâh ." Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return,

5. "Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers, and forgive us, Our Lord! Verily, You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise."

6. Certainly, there has been in them an excellent example for you to follow, for those who look forward to (the Meeting with) Allâh (for the reward from Him) and the Last Day. And whosoever turn away, then verily, Allâh is Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all Praise.

7. Perhaps Allâh will make friendship between you and those whom you hold as enemies. And Allâh has power (over all things), and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

8. Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity.

9. It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allâh forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zâliműn (wrong-doers those who disobey Allâh).

13. O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allâh (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have been in despair to receive any good in the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have been in despair about those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection).


Disbelieving Relatives


The Noble Qur'an: At-Tauba 9:23
O you who believe! Take not for 'Auliya' (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc).

Hypocrites


The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:88-89
Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray? And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way (of guidance). They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not 'Auliya' (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad  ). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither 'Auliya' (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.


The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:139
Those who take disbelievers for 'Auliya' (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, then to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory.

The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:144
O you who believe! Take not for 'Auliya' (protectors or helpers or friends) disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?

Muslims


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah 5:55
Verily, your Walî (Protector or Helper) is Allâh, His Messenger, and the believers, - those who perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, and they bow down (submit themselves with obedience to Allâh in prayer).


The Noble Qur'an: At-Taubah 9:71
The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'rűf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); they perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give the Zakât, and obey Allâh and His Messenger. Allâh will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Anfal 8:73
And those who disbelieve are allies to one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e. become allies, as one united block with one Khalifah - chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world to make victorious Allâh's Religion of Islâmic Monotheism), there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism, etc.) and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism).

No Muslims in Town to be Friends With?


The Noble Qur'an: Ash-Shura 42:9
Or have they taken (for worship) Auliyâ' (guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, etc.) besides Him? But Allâh, He Alone is the Walî (Protector, etc.). And it is He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things.


The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:119
...And whoever takes Shaitân (Satan) as a Walî (protector or helper) instead of Allâh, has surely suffered a manifest loss.



Action Items for the  uttaqun:

It is one thing to be friendly towards a non-believer, but you are commanded not to establish alliances or friendships with a non-Muslim.

Do not reach to non-Muslim family for help and support in times of crisis or otherwise.  If they seek the knowledge of Islam, share it.  But your loyalty is to Islam above all else; your priority is to the Islamic brotherhood/sisterhood.

You should not refer to or think of a non-Muslim as your friend.

When you need guidance, go to Qur'an, make Dua, seek Islamic council.  Do not rely on therapeutic counselors, guidance counselors, self-help books, non-Muslim family members, horoscopes, etc.

Deal justly and kindly with those who do not fight you on account of your religion.  However, do not rely on them for friendship/support if they are non-Muslim. 

The Arabic word "Auliya" is not interchangeable with "friend" in all uses of the word.  Note that it translates as "friends, protectors, supporters, helpers," i.e. it is referring to a certain type of friend - the type you count on for help, support, or protection.

You may count yourself as a friendly (kind) person to some disbelievers, but don't ever make the mistake of counting them as your friend.

If a Muslim friend clearly abandons his or her salah, s/he has engaged in an act of disbelief and you must not treat this person as an Auliya.

If a person puts on a cowboy hat, that does not make him a cowboy or farmboy, etc.  However, if that same person wears that same hat *every day* for several years in a row... eventually he's going to become more like a cowboy; he's certainly going to be treated like one, and he's eventually going to think like one.  If muslims abandon their Islamic clothes (or other fundamental behaviors of Islam) and dress like a kaffir - eventually they're going to be treated like one, become allies with the kaffir, and even begin to THINK like the kaffir.  Kaffir thinking and Muslim thinking are extreme opposites.  The kaffir way of thinking lends itself to believing that Jesus died on a cross to forgive all sins... why? Because it "feels" right.  The muslim way of thinking examines the evidence before coming to a belief.

If there are no Muslims where you live, remember that Allah, swt, is your closest Auliya and Wali.  To have anyone else but Allah, swt, his Messenger  or the believers as Auliya, is haram. 

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!
10907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: July 16, 2008, 09:05:20 AM
http://uscode.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode01/usc_sec_01_00000007----000-.html

TITLE 1 > CHAPTER 1 > § 7
§ 7. Definition of “marriage” and “spouse”


In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Rachel, there is a biological definition of male and female. There is no clear biological definition of race. Marriage has always been defined as being a legal union between a single man and a single woman, who aren't close relatives.
10908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 15, 2008, 11:32:32 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml;jsessionid=A34GLEEZ5FJ2LQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/opinion/2006/02/12/do1205.xml&site=15&page=0

We were brought up to hate - and we do
By Nonie Darwish
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 12/02/2006

The controversy regarding the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed completely misses the point. Of course, the cartoons are offensive to Muslims, but newspaper cartoons do not warrant the burning of buildings and the killing of innocent people. The cartoons did not cause the disease of hate that we are seeing in the Muslim world on our television screens at night - they are only a symptom of a far greater disease.

I was born and raised as a Muslim in Cairo, Egypt and in the Gaza Strip. In the 1950s, my father was sent by Egypt's President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to head the Egyptian military intelligence in Gaza and the Sinai where he founded the Palestinian Fedayeen, or "armed resistance". They made cross-border attacks into Israel, killing 400 Israelis and wounding more than 900 others.

My father was killed as a result of the Fedayeen operations when I was eight years old. He was hailed by Nasser as a national hero and was considered a shaheed, or martyr. In his speech announcing the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, Nasser vowed that all of Egypt would take revenge for my father's death. My siblings and I were asked by Nasser: "Which one of you will avenge your father's death by killing Jews?" We looked at each other speechless, unable to answer.

In school in Gaza, I learned hate, vengeance and retaliation. Peace was never an option, as it was considered a sign of defeat and weakness. At school we sang songs with verses calling Jews "dogs" (in Arab culture, dogs are considered unclean).

Criticism and questioning were forbidden. When I did either of these, I was told: "Muslims cannot love the enemies of God, and those who do will get no mercy in hell." As a young woman, I visited a Christian friend in Cairo during Friday prayers, and we both heard the verbal attacks on Christians and Jews from the loudspeakers outside the mosque. They said: "May God destroy the infidels and the Jews, the enemies of God. We are not to befriend them or make treaties with them." We heard worshippers respond "Amen".

My friend looked scared; I was ashamed. That was when I first realised that something was very wrong in the way my religion was taught and practised. Sadly, the way I was raised was not unique. Hundreds of millions of other Muslims also have been raised with the same hatred of the West and Israel as a way to distract from the failings of their leaders. Things have not changed since I was a little girl in the 1950s.

Palestinian television extols terrorists, and textbooks still deny the existence of Israel. More than 300 Palestinians schools are named after shaheeds, including my father. Roads in both Egypt and Gaza still bear his name - as they do of other "martyrs". What sort of message does that send about the role of terrorists? That they are heroes. Leaders who signed peace treaties, such as President Anwar Sadat, have been assassinated. Today, the Islamo-fascist president of Iran uses nuclear dreams, Holocaust denials and threats to "wipe Israel off the map" as a way to maintain control of his divided country.

Indeed, with Denmark set to assume the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, the flames of the cartoon controversy have been fanned by Iran and Syria. This is critical since the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. At the same time, Syria is under scrutiny for its actions in Lebanon. Both Iran and Syria cynically want to embarrass the Danes to achieve their dangerous goals.

But the rallies and riots come from a public ripe with rage. From my childhood in Gaza until today, blaming Israel and the West has been an industry in the Muslim world. Whenever peace seemed attainable, Palestinian leaders found groups who would do everything to sabotage it. They allowed their people to be used as the front line of Arab jihad. Dictators in countries surrounding the Palestinians were only too happy to exploit the Palestinians as a diversion from problems in their own backyards. The only voice outside of government control in these areas has been the mosques, and these places of worship have been filled with talk of jihad.

Is it any surprise that after decades of indoctrination in a culture of hate, that people actually do hate? Arab society has created a system of relying on fear of a common enemy. It's a system that has brought them much-needed unity, cohesion and compliance in a region ravaged by tribal feuds, instability, violence, and selfish corruption. So Arab leaders blame Jews and Christians rather than provide good schools, roads, hospitals, housing, jobs, or hope to their people.

For 30 years I lived inside this war zone of oppressive dictatorships and police states. Citizens competed to appease and glorify their dictators, but they looked the other way when Muslims tortured and terrorised other Muslims. I witnessed honour killings of girls, oppression of women, female genital mutilation, polygamy and its devastating effect on family relations. All of this is destroying the Muslim faith from within.

It's time for Arabs and Muslims to stand up for their families. We must stop allowing our leaders to use the West and Israel as an excuse to distract from their own failed leadership and their citizens' lack of freedoms. It's time to stop allowing Arab leaders to complain about cartoons while turning a blind eye to people who defame Islam by holding Korans in one hand while murdering innocent people with the other.

Muslims need jobs - not jihad. Apologies about cartoons will not solve the problems. What is needed is hope and not hate. Unless we recognise that the culture of hate is the true root of the riots surrounding this cartoon controversy, this violent overreaction will only be the start of a clash of civilis-ations that the world cannot bear.

• Nonie Darwish is a freelance writer and public speaker.
10909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 15, 2008, 04:32:47 PM
Then they should move to the "palestinian" territories and enjoy the paradise the "palestinians" have made for themselves.
10910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 15, 2008, 02:20:46 PM
No, it's important that immigrants and citizens be loyal to their nation. No hyphenated identity.
10911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 15, 2008, 06:18:26 AM
That is consistent with islamic theology. Loyalty to the "umma" over all others. The bitter fruit of multiculturalism.
10912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: July 15, 2008, 06:14:09 AM
Marc,
Thanks for your well wishes on my vacation it was wonderful. I will respond to your questions  in a couple of days.

Gm,

  My religious views ( Conservative Judaism) have everything to do with my view on Gay rights.  In my opinion Judaism and Christianity have very different view points on sex and sexuality.  For example  Judaism has laws related to family purity that Christianity does not.  I often feel that when people say Judeo/Christian they really mean Christian. 

**I would take a slightly different position than Dennis Prager, but I like his point of view on most topics.**
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jewish World Review March 30, 2004 / 8 Nissan, 5764

What does 'Judeo-Christian' mean?

By Dennis prager






The uniqueness of America



http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The United States of America is the only country in history to have defined itself as Judeo-Christian. While the Western world has consisted of many Christian countries and consists today of many secular countries, only America has called itself Judeo-Christian. America is also unique in that it has always combined secular government with a society based on religious values.

But what does "Judeo-Christian" mean? We need to know. Along with the belief in liberty — as opposed to, for example, the European belief in equality, the Muslim belief in theocracy, and the Eastern belief in social conformity — Judeo-Christian values are what distinguish America from all other countries. That is why American coins feature these two messages: "In G-d we trust" and "Liberty."

Yet, for all its importance and its repeated mention, the term is not widely understood. It urgently needs to be because it is under ferocious assault, and if we do not understand it, we will be unable to defend it. And if we cannot defend it, America will become as amoral as France, Germany, Russia, et al.

First, Judeo-Christian America has differed from Christian countries in Europe in at least two important ways. One is that the Christians who founded America saw themselves as heirs to the Hebrew Bible, as much as to theirs. And even more importantly, they strongly identified with the Jews.

For example, Thomas Jefferson wanted the design of the seal of the United States to depict the Jews leaving Egypt. Just as the Hebrews left Egypt and its values, Americans left Europe and its values (if only those who admire Jefferson would continue to take his advice).


Founders and other early Americans probably studied Hebrew, the language of the Jewish Bible at least as much as Greek, the language of the New. Yale, founded in 1701, adopted a Hebrew insignia, and Hebrew was compulsory at Harvard until 1787. The words on the Liberty Bell, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land . . . ," are from the Torah. Vast numbers of Americans took Hebrew names — like Benjamin Franklin and Cotton Mather (kattan in Hebrew means "little one" or "younger").

The consequences included a strong Hebrew Bible view of the world — meaning, in part, a strong sense of fighting for earthly justice, an emphasis on laws, a belief in a judging, as well as a loving and forgiving, G-d, and a belief in the chosenness of the Jews which America identified with.

The significance of this belief in American chosenness cannot be overstated. It accounts for the mission that Americans have uniquely felt called to — to spread liberty in the world.

This sense of mission is why more Americans have died for the liberty of others than any other nation's soldiers.

It is why those who today most identify with the Judeo-Christian essence of America are more likely to believe in the moral worthiness of dying to liberate countries — not only Europe, but Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. That is why America stands alone in protecting two little countries threatened with extinction, Israel and Taiwan. That is why conservative Americans are more likely to believe in American exceptionalism — in not seeking, as President Bush put it, a "permission slip" from the United Nations, let alone from Europe.

The second meaning of Judeo-Christian is a belief in the biblical G-d of Israel, in His Ten Commandments and His biblical moral laws. It is a belief in universal, not relative, morality. It is a belief that America must answer morally to this G-d, not to the mortal, usually venal, governments of the world.

That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values lead the fight against redefining marriage. We believe that a pillar of Judeo-Christian values is to encourage the man-woman sexual and marital ideal, and to provide children with the opportunity to benefit from the unique gifts that a man and a woman give a child, gifts that are never replicable by two men alone or two women.

That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values are unmoved by the idea that the war in Iraq is moral if Germany, France, China and Russia say so, but immoral if they oppose it. We ask first what G-d and the Bible would say about liberating Iraq, not what Syria and other members of the U.N. Security Council say.

That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values believe that war, while always tragic, is on more than a few occasions a moral duty. Nothing "Judeo" ever sanctioned pacifism. Of course, the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah yearned for the day that nations will beat their swords into plowshares. But another Hebrew Prophet, Joel, who is never cited by those who wish to read the secular value of pacifism into the Bible, said precisely the opposite: "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!'"

And that is why those who want Judeo-Christian values to disappear from American public life affirm multiculturalism, seek to remove mention of G-d from all public life, and make Christmas a private, not a national, holiday.

The battle over whether America remains Judeo-Christian or becomes secular like Europe is what this, the Second American Civil War, is about.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

In Judaism breaking sabbath and not keeping kosher are worse than homosexuality . Do you think  it should be illegal for me  to eat cheeseburgers or go to a movie on a Friday night ?   

**Nope, just as you are free to keep kosher, you are free not to keep kosher in this country.**

 Also,  In my admittedly limited knowledge of Christianity Jesus himself had nothing to say about homosexuality.     Both  Judaism and Christianity specifically mention sodomy and not homosexuality  woman are not explicitly included.   So if it was just religiously based shouldn't you just exclude male gay marriage. Do you think adultery should be illegal?   Are you interested in some sort of  Jewish or Christian Sharia?

**In my state, adultery is illegal, but not enforceable in the criminal justice system, a position I agree with. I like my government secular and constitutional, given that our collective moral paradigm is based on judeo-christian morality.**
 
My point is gay people are human beings( including family members and friends of mine)   therefore they should be treated well.

**I've not seen anyone here deny the humanity of homosexuals, or advocating their mistreatment. My basic stance is I don't care what CONSENTING ADULTS do PRIVATELY. I do object to activist judges legislating from the bench.**
10913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 14, 2008, 08:44:30 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/14/obama-immigration-enforcement-terror/

Somehow, Obama makes McCain look good on illegal immigration. Amazing!
10914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 13, 2008, 06:57:19 PM
Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.- Golda Meir

http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/178.htm

I'm not holding my breath.....
10915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 13, 2008, 10:42:25 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/05/16/2008-05-16_middle_name_hussein_is_only_one_reason_t.html

 
Friday, May 16th 2008, 4:00 AM
Middle name Hussein is only one reason terror thugs like Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama wants it both ways.

Any American who uses his full name is trying to scare voters, his wife charges. But Obama says he understands why Islamic terror group Hamas looks at his middle name and trusts him.

Ditto for his plan to meet with Iran's madman president and other rogue leaders. Obama sees his open-door policy as evidence he will end President Bush's "cowboy diplomacy." When Bush slammed that plan Thursday as "appeasement," Obama accused him of a "false political attack."

It's a legitimate attack, because Obama's kumbaya foreign policy is dangerous. And his name, including the Hussein part, is fair game because Obama has declared it an international advantage.

He can want it both ways, but he can't have it.

The trouble started when Hamas adviser Ahmed Yousef said, "We like Mr. Obama" and added, "we hope he wins the election."

That's an endorsement, plain and simple. When John McCain jumped in, promising to be Hamas' "worst enemy," Obama got huffy and accused McCain of "divisive fear-mongering."

That's par for the Obama course. Michelle Obama once said anyone using her husband's full name is throwing the "ultimate fear bomb. When all else fails, be afraid of his name."

Maybe we should be afraid. Consider what Obama says in an interview in the current Atlantic magazine.

Asked by writer Jeffrey Goldberg if he was "flummoxed" by the Hamas support, Obama responds no and says: "It's conceivable that there are those in the Arab world who say to themselves, 'This is a guy who spent some time in the Muslim world, has a middle name of Hussein and appears more worldly and has called for talks with people, and so he's not going to be engaging in the same sort of cowboy diplomacy as George Bush,' and that's something they're hopeful about."

He adds: "That's a perfectly legitimate perception as long as they're not confused about my unyielding support for Israel's security."

In fact, there is confusion. Some of it goes to his long relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose church magazine printed anti-Israel views. There is no evidence Obama objected.

The Atlantic interview adds to the confusion. While Obama stresses the importance of Israel to Jews, he also seems to parrot liberal nonsense that blames the entire Mideast conflict on Israeli settlements.

He even links Israeli parents' concern for their children's safety to settlements, posing the question: "Is settlement policy conducive to relieving that over the long term, or is it just making the situation worse?"

WRONG QUESTION. The right one is why should Israel or anyone else meet with Hamas, which won't recognize Israel's right to exist and fires rockets into civilian areas? Hamas' vow to destroy Israel has nothing to do with settlements or borders.

One question has been answered, though. Now we know why Hamas prefers Barack Hussein Obama. He's told us himself.
10916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aerial Wolf Shooting. on: July 11, 2008, 10:01:46 AM
http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/rlinks/natives/ak_subsistence.html

Why don't they just drive to "Whole Foods"?  huh
10917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aerial Wolf Shooting. on: July 11, 2008, 09:50:29 AM
http://www.subsistmgtinfo.org/basics.htm
    
     In Alaska, subsistence generally refers to the practice of taking fish, wildlife or other wild resources for one's sustenance - for food, shelter or other personal or family needs.

     Subsistence has been elemental to Alaska Natives and their cultures for thousands of years. It also has become a way of life for many non-Natives in Alaska. Subsistence is recognized by the United States and by the State of Alaska as the highest-priority consumptive use of resources in the state.

     Subsistence hunting and fishing provide a large share of the food supply in rural Alaska. According to the state Division of Subsistence, about 44 million pounds of wild foods are taken annually by residents of rural Alaska, or about 375 pounds per person per year. This compares to 22 pounds per year harvested by Alaska's urban residents. Fish comprise 60 percent of subsistence foods taken annually. Ninety-five percent of rural households consume subsistence-caught fish, according to the state.

     Subsistence is a controversial political topic because managing subsistence involves making decisions about who has access to Alaska's valuable fish and wildlife resources. Disagreements about subsistence arise between and within different groups, including urban and rural Alaska residents, Natives and non-Natives, subsistence users and non-subsistence users, state lawmakers and other groups. Disagreements include who should get rights to subsistence, how resources are allocated under subsistence provisions, and how such decisions are made.

     Subsistence wasn’t a controversial legal issue until the late 1970s, when demands of a growing state population started putting the squeeze on Alaska’s available fish and game, and resource managers increasingly were forced to choose between users. But the underpinnings of the management controversy can be traced to Alaska statehood in 1959.

     On becoming a state, Alaska took over responsibility for managing subsistence from the federal government when it gained authority for managing fish and wildlife. State control of fish and wildlife was a leading argument for statehood, as Alaskans criticized federal fishery management as favoring outside interests and unresponsive to resident needs. The new Alaska Constitution established that fish and wildlife “are reserved to the people for common use” and that “no exclusive right or special privilege of fishery shall be created or authorized.” [Alaska Constitution, Article VIII ]

     For the United States federal government, the question of subsistence surfaced in 1971 when Congress was drafting the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The act addressed Native land claims that clouded construction of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. It extinguished aboriginal hunting and fishing rights in Alaska in exchange for almost $1 billion in cash and 44 million acres of land.

     ANCSA didn’t explicitly protect subsistence, but a Congressional conference report issued with the new law stated that Native subsistence practices and subsistence lands would be protected by the State of Alaska and U.S. Department of Interior.

     Congress made good on that promise in 1980, when it passed the landmark Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act [ANILCA]. Besides creating new national wildlife refuges and public recreation lands, ANILCA mandated that the state maintain a subsistence hunting and fishing preference for rural residents on federal public lands or forfeit its management of subsistence uses there.

    The State of Alaska, which had established its own subsistence law in 1978, took note of the discrepancy between the laws and amended state law in 1986 to match ANILCA by limiting subsistence uses to rural residents. The fix, however, didn’t last long. In 1989, the state Supreme Court ruled that the rural preference violated Alaska Constitution, including its “common use” provisions regarding use of fish and wildlife.

     As the state no longer guaranteed a rural preference for subsistence as required by ANILCA, the federal government moved to take over management of subsistence on federal public lands. Several attempts by the state to reconcile the two laws by amending the Alaska Constitution failed when supporters couldn’t muster enough votes in the Alaska Legislature to send a constitutional amendment to the state’s voters. Federal managers took over authority for subsistence on federal lands on July 1, 1990.

     In 1995, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in adjudicating Katie John vs. United States, ruled that ANILCA’s subsistence priority extends to freshwater bodies within and alongside federal public lands. The decision pushed the federal government into management of subsistence fisheries.

     Realizing that federal subsistence fisheries management would impact fishing statewide, the State of Alaska again attempted to regain management. Between 1997 and 1999, a subsistence task force was convened, two special sessions of the Legislature were held, and U.S. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska twice delayed a federal takeover of subsistence on federal waters through a moratorium. But in the end, the Alaska Senate failed to pass onto voters a constitutional amendment to that would bring state law into compliance with ANILCA. On October 1, 1999, the rural subsistence priority was extended to inland waters within 34 federal parks, forests, wildlife refuges, preserves and recreation lands. Federal subsistence fishery management had arrived. [Map of Federal Waters in Alaska]

     The federal management program is administered by the Anchorage-based Office of Subsistence Management and regulated by the six-member Federal Subsistence Board. The Board is comprised of a voting chairman appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Interior, and the regional directors of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S.D.A. Forest Service.

     While there are similarities between the federal and state management systems, they differ on several key points. [See State-Federal Comparison Page]

     The federal regulatory process begins with an annual call for proposals from the public. Proposals are reviewed by 10 Regional Advisory Councils around the state that consider and make recommendations on proposed changes. A recommendation from a Regional Council carries considerable weight. It can be rejected by the Federal Subsistence Board only if it is not supported by substantial evidence, violates recognized principles of wildlife conservation, or would be detrimental to the satisfaction of subsistence needs.

       Regional councils meet twice annually: Once in the fall to make recommendations on subsistence fish proposals and again in the winter to weigh wildlife proposals. Proposals are forwarded to the Federal Subsistence Board, which convenes at least twice annually. Meetings of the Councils and of the Board are open to the public. There are opportunities to give written comments and oral testimony throughout the federal process
10918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China vs. Haji: WMD Edition on: July 11, 2008, 08:54:40 AM
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-3220173,prtpage-1.cms

Terror threat to Games: China shuts mosques
11 Jul 2008, 0101 hrs IST, Saibal Dasgupta,TNN


BEIJING: Chinese authorities have replaced top police and security officials in the Muslim dominated Xinjiang province, which is the hotbed of separatism and political violence. They have also closed down 41 "illegal" places of worship.

These places of worship were used as training ground for conducting a "holy war", Chen Zhuangwei Chen, the police chief of Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang province, said. Xinjiang, which borders central Asia and Pakistan, has been the scene of a pro-independence movement by a section of the eight million Uighurs living there for a long time.

The authorities also announced they have detained 82 "suspected terrorists" in the past six months in view of fears that they might disrupt the Olympic Games. They belong to five groups that "allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing Olympics", the official Xinhua news agency quoted the police chief in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, as saying.

The government has annouced the replacement of army and security officials in the ranks of three deputy core commanders, political commissars and the head of the Communist Party organisation department in the army. The replacement suggests that the central government has been unhappy about the inability of local officials to put down the surging separatist movement in the province.

The new head of the organisation department is Liu Xiang Song, the government announced. One of the three new core commanders is Hanabati Sabukhaya, an officer from the Kazak race. Xinjiang borders Kazakisthan and several other countries including Pakistan and Russia. "From now, all police officers must act urgently, get involved once more in Olympic security, to make sure large and small incidents alike do not happen," Chen was quoted by official media as saying.
10919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aerial Wolf Shooting. on: July 10, 2008, 07:45:07 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotka-Volterra_equation

Warning: Math!  shocked
10920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aerial Wolf Shooting. on: July 10, 2008, 07:32:35 PM
Um..actually no, surprisingly enough. I'm pretty lucky. Not many "pests" in my area. The few times I do run into them, I either get them out of the house or use a repellent. I've never been really big on killing something just because it inconveniences me. I try to do the little things too to avoid any unnecessary energy use (unplugging things, turning off lights, not using a car, that sort of thing). But I can probably guarantee that, in one way or another, I've contributed to the current state of affairs. I mean, seriously, i could probably power a third world country with my computer, so I can't really complain about other people's issues, eh?

Well, that's basically my point. We directly or indirectly impact the environment by our very existence. Manhattan island was once lush and green and filled with wildlife, the east river filled with fish. It's very common for urbanites to condemn those who actually live in wild areas from an imagined position of moral superiority, seeming oblivious to the environmental impact their own life imposes on the planet.

It's easy to get upset at hunting wolves, who we generally find to be aesthetically pleasing, or imbue with mystical symbolism as we drive to the supermarket to buy sanitary, pristine foodstuffs in shiny packages, obvious to the destruction of wild habitat and deaths of many animals to ensure our own comfort and nutrition.

10921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aerial Wolf Shooting. on: July 10, 2008, 04:46:01 PM


Yeah, just like any other human I am responsible for some of the damage to the planet and things of that sort. What I meant by "Lord Man" was my reference to how we have a tendency to see animals that are useful to us as those that should live, and those that are not, should not live.



Ever used traps/sprays to rid your home of mice or insects?
10922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 10, 2008, 10:41:47 AM
If the mullahs’ true intention is to provide electricity through nuclear energy for the Iranians (which they claim) — the same Iranians whose women, students, teachers, writers and union workers are being flogged, beaten, tortured and stoned to death, the same Iranians who are denied a free election or freedom of speech — then why wouldn’t they accept the comprehensive incentive package offered by the world leaders in full, scrap the enrichment process, and bring peace and prosperity to their nation?

The reason is that their belief in Islam’s conquest of the world through the coming of the 12th Imam mandates their actions, and — just as a suicide bomber — they are not even interested in their own survival and cannot be diverted from their chosen path. The question is: Can the world afford to sit idly by and wait for Armageddon?

Next Page: transcript of “Reza Khalili’s” interview with Roger L. Simon

MR. SIMON: This is Roger Simon for Pajamas Media and I am here with Reza Khalili. Khalili is not the gentleman’s real name, he is a former CIA agent who infiltrated the

Revolutionary Guard of Iran. This may be a first on the radio or on the internet to reveal a former CIA agent to infiltrate that organization. Welcome to Pajamas Media, Mr. Khalili.

MR. KHALILI: Thank you.

MR. SIMON: How long did you work for the CIA?

MR. KHALILI: Well one thing is, Roger, I can’t be specific on the time, location, so forth and so on, to protect my identify but I’ll give you an estimate which was from the ’80s through the ’90s.

MR. SIMON: And you worked as a member of the Revolutionary Guard?

MR. KHALILI: I was, and I was working as a member of the Revolutionary Guard, yes.

MR. SIMON: And how did you come to work with the CIA?

MR. KHALILI: I went to Iran after the revolution since I had my education here in the United States, and I went with the hope that things are going to move along on — on a freedom for all political parties and so forth and so on. But what I witnessed was killings of the opposition, torture of the opposition, radical idea taking place in Iran forcing Iranian people, ordinary citizens to give into very restricted laws of Islam.

As the time went along, I became totally disgusted and I lost some good friends to the revolution, I had people dear to me die in the revolution and I basically took it upon myself to take action and make a difference. So I flew back to the US. Actually, I got the hope of the Revolutionary Guard to facilitate my trip. I made up some story which was partly true and flew to US, contacted the FBI, got in touch with the CIA and went through training and then back to Iran to the Revolutionary Guard, starting my new job as a CIA agent.

MR. SIMON: Had you joined the Revolutionary Guard before you came back to the US?

MR. KHALIL: Yes. I was in the Revolutionary Guard before I came in the US, yes.

MR. SIMON: Are there other members of the Revolutionary Guard who are US agents.

MR. KHALIL: Well, really I can’t comment on that. I can’t comment on that.

MR. SIMON: Reza Khalili is going to be doing a series of interviews, many on video — disguised video of course — for Pajamas Media, in which we will get into a great deal of detail on the workings of the Revolutionary Guard and so forth.

But let us turn now to an article, the first article that Mr. Khalili has done for Pajamas Media, which is appearing now and has a very sensational charge right at the top, a very controversial charge, that Iran was behind the Lockerbie disaster.

Now, this has usually been ascribed to Gaddafi and the Libyans. How are you sure that this is an Iranian caused event?

MR. KHALILI: Well, right after the disaster in the Persian Gulf, the US war ship shot down an Iranian civilian jet which caused, you know, more than 290 people were killed in that incident. That coincided with an ultimatum from President Reagan to the leadership of Iran to accept peace with Iraq. That ultimatum was very powerful, very — it was in the lines that if you do not accept peace, we’re going to come all out on you.

So the Libyans got together with Khomeini — Rafsanjani, Khomeini and the rest and they decided it was time to accept piece. And both Rafsanjani at that time, and the others in the leadership, promised the

Revolutionary Guard that they’re going to take revenge for the shooting down of the Iranian airliner. That was — I heard that from my sources within the Revolutionary Guard — that they were going to take revenge and hit a blow to the U.S. interest.

Now, shortly after that — shortly after the Pan Am incident I was in Europe on a mission and I had met with Iranian agents somewhere in Europe. I knew specifically who they were tied to and how high up they were connected. And it was right after the Pan Am bombing. We talked about the incident, they verified that Rafsanjani had ordered the Pan Am bombing and the retaliation for the Iranian airliner incident and they talked about a Palestinian suspect and the transistor — that the bomb was in the transistor radio. And then went on and talked about some of the investigation of one of the European governments that was in the process and which was not publicly available to people.

In my conversation with them I was convinced that this was an Iranian act. It was delivered, as promised, through their proxies. I reported my findings to the CIA, gave the names of the agents. They were traced — their travels were traced; where they were before, what countries they had visited. I told them of their connection to the Iranian hierarchy and so that’s where we left it off.

I expected a follow-up; nothing happened because six, seven months after Rafsanjani became the president Khomeini had died. Khamenei became the new supreme leader and CIA and US — the new US administration, President Bush Senior, made an assessment that

Hashimi Rafsanjani, the new president, is ready for a change in diplomatic relations as Rafsanjani had sent signals to the new US administration, as they always do they’re the master of deception.

So they changed their policies. They had traded my vision and opinion under Iranian government that they can never be trusted. Each one of them are a terrorist, and I’m not exaggerating. Everyone one of them have blood on their hand, either an American, Israeli or Persian.

So I was a foot soldier. I was somebody at the front lines reporting the facts and my opinion. Obviously they have their own analysts and organization that comes up with these opinions that they thought Rafsanjani was going to be a new leader and they told me, specifically, that Rafsanjani — consider Rafsanjani as the new king of Iran.

Well, about a year later they came to the conclusion that they were duped into such relations and they asked me to look for an Iranian who would testify that Iran was making a nuclear bomb at that time. Now I’m talking about early ’90s. That goes to show that the CIA And the US government knew that Iran was working on a nuclear bomb. I had reported in the mid ’80s that they were going to do that. They had come to a conclusion to do that because Saddam was looking for a nuclear bomb and technology during the war and as always, their policies of negotiation and trusting the Iranian leadership was false and hence the result and where we are right now.

MR. SIMON: Now, let me ask you a question about this. Does this mean that you think that the Iranian were working with Gaddafi on some level?

MR. KHALILI: Well, if — there was an article published June 2007, it was by Judd Scotland on Sunday and the evidence that the investigation was steered away from pointing to Iran and some of the evidence was actually interfered with to point to the defendant. Now, I don’t know who did it, as far as the specific person, but I know that Iran controls, and has under its command, several proxies throughout the world and they’ve shown that over and over again with the Beirut bombing, with the Khobar bombing, with the Pan Am bombing. In the ’90s they did a suicide bombing in Argentina on the Jewish community.

Some of the leaders, the current people in the Iranian government, are on Interpol’s most wanted. The Argentinean judge has an arrest warrant on Rafsanjani and several others; Rezai, Ahmad Vahidi, Velayati, Fallahian the minister of intelligence at that time.

The German prosecutor has arrest warrants for several of them. They are under arrest warrants by the three — they have done many, many assassinations and terrorist activities that are all streamed through the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Intelligence and the leadership in charge. And that’s the case right now. They’re still there. They’re still working the government with one goal in mind.

MR. SIMON: Reza Khalili, I am going to ask you a question that relates to the current presidential campaign in the United States because John McCain came under a certain amount of fire, supposedly for confusing Shiah’s and Shiites and Iran. In this fire they said that Iranian Shiahs would not work with Sunnis, do you think this is true?

MR. KHALILI: Well, it’s important to state that the Iranian government has been working with the Iraqi courts. That happened all along the Iran/Iraq war. Even though they did not share same ideology, the Iraqi courts and the Iranians were hand in hand to topple Saddam. They’ve been working with the Ba’athist regime of Syria since the revolution.

MR. SIMON: Who are Sunnis, of course, yes.

MR. KHALILI: Right. So they’ve been helping the Syrians and they’ve been expanding their power in the Middle East through the joint cooperation with the Syrians. Also the Taliban, their sworn enemy, they’ve been helping them in the uprising, after the invasion of Afghanistan, to counter attack the neutral forces and keep the pressure on the Americans.

They’ve got a long history with working with the leftist, with every terrorist group that they can to promote their agenda.

MR. SIMON: What about working with the biggest Sunni of all, Al Qaeda, do you think they’ve worked with Al Qaeda?

MR. KHALILI: Well, Ahmad Vahidi, the current deputy of the Defense Department. And he used to be the head of the Qods forces. He had — he’s had new things with Al Qaeda. He’s had contacts with Al Qaeda and they — of course they do share common goals but the enemy of my enemy is my best friend. Then, you know, that applies. They’ve had contact, they’ve helped and they have facilitated every different group as long as it promotes their agenda.

MR. SIMON: Well, thank you very much, Reza Khalili, for talking with Pajamas Media. We look forward to talking with you soon on podcast and in video form. Thank you very much.

MR. KHALILI: Thanks so much, bye bye.

MR. SIMON: All right. Bye.

Transcribed by Pnina Eilberg, [2] eScribers

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/former-cia-agent-in-iran-comes-in-from-the-heat/

URLs in this post:
[1] here: http://pajamasmedia.com/?p=32726&page=3
[2] eScribers: http://www.escribers.net/
10923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 10, 2008, 10:40:48 AM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Former CIA Agent in Iran Comes In from the Heat
July 8, 2008 - by 'Reza Khalili'

[Editor’s note: Pajamas Media has spoken with “Reza Khalili’s” attorney in Washington, D.C. who confirmed Khalili “had a working relationship with a US intelligence agency.” We have also seen a copy of the June 5, 2008 email sent by the agency’s “Manuscript Review” department authorizing the publication of this article.]

In an interview with Roger L. Simon, “Khalili” further amplifies his accusation of Iranian involvement in Lockerbie and addresses the controversial question of whether the Shiite mullahs would form alliances with Sunnis. A transcript of the interview is [1] here. More interviews with “Khalili” in disguised video form will be coming in the future from PJM. ]

The men who ordered the destruction of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie and the bombings of the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia are pursuing the nuclear program in Iran and with one goal in mind: to obtain The Bomb.

And they want to destroy you.

After the Iranian Revolution, I was an officer in the Revolutionary Guards. I was also a spy working for the CIA, code name Wally. My position in the Guards gave me access to the Khomeini regime’s deep secrets and a firsthand look at the unfolding horror: torture, rapes, executions, assassinations, suicide bombers, training of terrorists, and the transfer of arms and explosives to other countries to support terrorist attacks. I risked my life and my family’s trying to expose this regime because I believed it should be stopped. Once again I incur such risks to bring awareness that lack of action endangers the world.

In the mid-80s, I reported to the CIA that the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence unit had information that Saddam Hussein had made a strategic decision to acquire nuclear arms. I heard this from several sources within the Guards and also in a conversation with a member of the intelligence unit, who told me that the Guards were informed through arms dealers in the black market that Saddam was desperately looking for an atomic bomb. It was then that the Guards’ commanders and Iranian leadership decided to go nuclear and actively shop for components in the black market because they made a determination that the Iran-Iraq war could not have been won without a nuclear bomb. Mohsen Rezaei, then-commander of the Revolutionary Guards, requested permission from Ayatollah Khomeini to make Iran a nuclear power. Khomeini agreed.

Some years later, while I was stationed in Europe working for the CIA, I met with three Iranian agents who were shopping for nuclear parts. The agents confirmed what I had heard through the Guards: that Hashemi Rafsanjani had promised retaliation for the downing of an Iranian civilian jet by a U.S. warship over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988, toward the end of the Iran-Iraq war. According to the U.S government, an inexperienced crew mistakenly identified the Iranian Airbus as an attacking F-14 fighter; 290 people were killed. The agents said it was Rafsanjani who ordered the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on Dec. 21, 1988, which killed 270 people. They also talked about involvement of a Palestinian man and the radio transmitter that carried the bomb, information that I passed on to the CIA. I made an assessment at that time that Iran had ordered, through surrogates, the bombing of the Pan Am flight.

There was not much of a follow-up on Iran’s involvement in that incident because Rafsanjani had become the president of Iran, and my CIA contact told me to consider Rafsanjani the new king of Iran. It was apparent to me that President George H.W. Bush was going to support and trust Rafsanjani as the new ruler of Iran. He was promised cooperation and good relations by the mullahs, and the U.S. administration and the CIA in turn were convinced that the mullahs were open to a new chapter in Iran-U.S relations.

I believed then, as I do now, that the mullahs would never abandon their ambitions, and that after 29 years of negotiations by Europe and world powers, the world has yet to understand that the mullahs will not change direction or behavior. In the early ’90s, the senior Bush administration and the CIA finally realized they were being duped — the mullahs’ promises never materialized. The CIA asked me to look for an Iranian who could testify that Iran was in the process of making a nuclear bomb. That request was later withdrawn.

Iran remains the main sponsor of terrorism around the world. Iranian consulates, embassies, airlines, and shipping line offices are the main hub for terrorist activities. Money, arms, and explosives are transferred through these centers to fund terrorist groups and jihadists. Quds Force units of the Revolutionary Guards use the Iranian consulates as their command and control centers to plan and carry out assassinations, kidnappings, and terrorist activities. The mullahs even transferred money and arms in state visits using their high-ranking officials, knowing full well that because of diplomatic immunity they would not be subject to search during such visits. As I reported to the CIA, these activities were closely coordinated through Iran’s foreign ministry, the ministry of intelligence, and the Revolutionary Guards.

And then there is the Syrian connection, which facilitates the Revolutionary Guards in training and arming Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, and Hamas, based in the Palestinian Territory. Syrian facilities and political channels are at the Revolutionary Guards’ disposal, expanding their terror network. The mullahs not only support Syria with massive financial aid in hundreds of millions of dollars but also share missile-delivery technology and other military armaments. The Quds Force leadership is in close contact with Syrian military leaders, coordinating terrorist activities throughout the Middle East.

As Iran pursued its nuclear ambitions over the past few years, it needed to keep U.S. forces on the defensive in Iraq so Washington would not think of invading Iran. Tehran’s strategy was to use the mullahs’ connection to the Shiite clergies and population in Iraq that had been built up years before the U.S invasion. The Guards had established Badr brigades that had been expanded into a division with Iraqi recruits during the Iran-Iraq war and had helped Ayatollah Hakim in establishing the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, currently one of Iraq’s most powerful political parties. Its goal is to put as much pressure on U.S. forces through terror attacks as it can so the U.S. administration won’t think of expanding the Iraq war, giving Iran time to accelerate its nuclear research and development. Tehran knows full well it is in a race, and if it is able to perfect the technology, the West will have no choice but to live with a nuclear Iran. It also believes that after the current President Bush, the next U.S. administration (if led by a Democrat) will most likely reduce forces and slowly move out, leaving it for the Iraqis to sort things out, which ultimately will result in Iran’s domination of the region, with catastrophic consequences for the Free World. This has already happened with Hezbollah. Iran armed and trained Hezbollah into a political force in Lebanon which controls events on the ground, limiting the power of the Lebanese government and even confronting Israel as we saw in the 2006 Lebanon war.

Iran’s current defense minister, Mostafa Najjar, was in charge of the Revolutionary Guards forces in Lebanon that facilitated the attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241 U.S. servicemen with the largest non-nuclear bomb in history. The current deputy defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, was the commander of the Quds Forces and the chief intelligence officer of the Guards, in charge of the terrorist activities outside of Iran. He had received authorization for taking the fight to the U.S forces and Israel’s interests around the world directly from Imam Khomeini, the supreme leader at the time. The operations in Lebanon were coordinated by these two men.

Four years after that bombing, Iran’s then-minister of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rafiqdoost, boasted that, “Both the TNT and the ideology, which in one blast sent 400 U.S. officers to hell, were provided by Iran.” Vahidi is currently on Interpol’s Most Wanted List for the attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994. That attack killed 87 and injured more than 100.

There is also strong evidence of the Quds Forces’ involvement in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen and wounded 372 more on June 25, 1996. The attack was carried out by the Iranian-backed Saudi Hezbollah, but led back to the leadership in Tehran. In 2001, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the attack was inspired, supported, and supervised by elements in the Iranian government.

The most radical Islamists control the government in Iran. The Revolutionary Guards’ reach is all-encompassing: they control the vital industries in Iran, serve as ministers in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, are members of the Parliament, control events in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territory through their Quds Force, and expand their terror network throughout the world, all the while making inroads in nuclear enrichment and missile-delivery technology.

It is not an exaggeration to claim that the radicals belonging to the secretive society called “Hojjatieh,” who are devoted to the 12th Imam, have taken control of all vital positions in Iran. Ayatollah Janati, the head of the Guardian Council in charge of interpreting the constitution, supervising elections, and approving of candidates running for public office, has been very vocal about his opposition to the West: “We are anti-American and we are America’s enemy,” and “Non-Muslims are animals roaming the planet.” They believe that the 12th Imam supports their agenda of obtaining nuclear weapons and destroying Israel in order to start the chaos necessary for the final destruction of what they see as American imperialism and Israeli Zionism.

The Revolutionary Guards, with the help of North Korea, are making advancements in their ballistic missile program by expanding the reach of its Shahab missiles and the successful launch of its long range Kavoshgar 1 missile on February 4, 2008. These missiles are capable of reaching Europe. At the same time, they are moving full speed ahead with their nuclear enrichment activity by installing the new IR-2 centrifuges which can enrich uranium at a faster speed than the P1 model. Iran has installed 3,000 P1 centrifuges with the goal of expanding that number to 50,000 within five years. It is estimated that it will take 1,200 of the new centrifuges to produce enough material for one nuclear weapon in one year as opposed to 3000 units of the P1 model that does the same job. The Guards always believed in a dual process in their operations for their military projects, so if one failed or was sabotaged, the other would carry on. They are doing just that. There is word that in the mountainous region of Mazandaran province, in the north of Iran, the Guards are pursuing nuclear arms underground.

Mostafa Najjar, the current defense minister, is overseeing the enrichment process and the missile-delivery advancements, and his deputy, Ahmad Vahidi, is overseeing the proliferation of arms and missiles to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas in coordination with Syria.

Today, trying to fool the world, the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has publicly declared that pursuit and acquisition of atomic bombs are against Islam. But it was Khamenei himself, along with Hashemi Rafsanjani, Rezaei, and others in the leadership, who ordered the start of research and development of nuclear technology in the mid-80s.

Khamenei put out a statement to the world in 2008 that God would punish Iranians if they did not support the country’s disputed nuclear program, and any stop in the continuation of the nuclear work would be against God’s will. Ahmadinejad, in a recent 2008 speech, told the audience that the “enemy” (referring to the U.S. and Israel) and their superficial power are on a path to destruction, and that the countdown to their total destruction has begun.

The rulers in Iran believe it is their duty to prepare the circumstances for the reappearance of the 12th Imam. “Our Revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, Imam Mahdi,” Ahmadinejad said during a speech in 2005 to leaders from across the country. Shiites believe the reappearance of the 12th Imam will bring justice and peace to the world by establishing Islam throughout the world. They believe he will reappear when the world has fallen into chaos. It is believed the chaos will start in Afghanistan and then move into Iraq, where there will be blood and destruction everywhere (already in the works) and from there to the world with burning dark clouds (nuclear war). The 12th Imam will then come to destroy the “Dajjal,” the False Messiah, free the world from oppression and aggression, and then bring justice where it will be heaven on earth for many years to come. It is said Jesus will reappear at the same time and fight alongside Mahdi.

Members of the Iranian leadership say they have a “signed contract” with the 12th Imam and are doggedly pursuing nuclear weapons to bring on that catastrophe. Iran’s president, Ahmadinejad, has said that Israel must be destroyed (2005 “World without Zionism” speech, “Israel must be wiped off the map”). This is no idle threat.

10924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 10, 2008, 10:36:14 AM
Well......yeah. I see your point. Most people see "NEST" and think "bird".  grin
10925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 10, 2008, 10:15:38 AM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Is Tehran Bluffing?

July 10, 2008 - by Spook 86

On the heels of a recent Israeli Air Force exercise — and cautionary words from the United States — Iran, quite literally, fired back on Wednesday. According to military and press accounts, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) units [1] test-fired nine missiles, including a medium-range Shahab-3, capable of reaching Israel.

While the Iranian missile test was enough to ratchet up regional tensions (and trigger a new spike in oil prices), it is possible to read too much into the day’s events, at least militarily. First, this type of drill is hardly an unusual event; IRGC missile units conduct an average of two or three major exercises each year, and missile crews practice continuously at their garrisons. Preparations for the test had been underway for several days and, presumably, detected by U.S. and Israeli intelligence.

Secondly, reporting on the missile test — or at least the information available so far — ignores the salient question about the supposed “highlight” of the exercise: the launch of an extended range Shahab-3 that could target Israel. This is not the first time Iran has tested a longer-rage version of the Shahab-3; launches involving that type of missile date back almost a decade.

But many of those tests had something in common: they resulted in failures, ranging from missiles that blew up in flight, failed to achieve the desired range, or strayed badly off course. So far, Tehran hasn’t provided details on Wednesday’s Shahab-3 launch, only saying that it has a maximum range of 1250 miles and is capable of carrying a one-ton payload. If the extended-range Shahab-3 remains unreliable, it will pose less of a threat to Israel and other potential targets in the Middle East.

In fact, Iran reportedly stopped work on another missile program (dubbed the Shahab-4), replacing it with BM-25 intermediate range missiles from North Korea. The BM-25 — based on an old Soviet SLBM design — arrived in Iran more than a year ago but has not been operationally tested. Cancellation of the Shahab-4 and slow progress with the BM-25 suggest continuing problems with Tehran’s intermediate and long-range missile programs.

Deficiencies can also be found among operational systems. Media reports on Wednesday’s launch are wildly inaccurate in one important element: characterizing many of the missiles tested as long-range systems. The Shahab-3 is actually classified as a medium-range system; the other missiles tested appear to be short-range systems, capable of reaching targets less than 150 miles away — and with only limited accuracy.

In fact, the three missiles that were launched simultaneously (and highlighted in press photos) are unsophisticated battlefield rockets, probably a Zelzal variant. Iran first introduced the Zelzal in the mid-1990s; it was based on the Russian Frog-7 design, which dates from the 1950s. Not exactly state-of-the-art. But the western press accepts Iranian military claims uncritically and often inflates the threat, much to Tehran’s delight.

Remember that advanced fighter that Iran built, supposedly equal to our own F/A-18? It’s actually a remanufactured U.S. F-5, with a second vertical stabilizer and marginally upgraded avionics. Or that high-speed torpedo? It is based on a Soviet design from World War II, requiring precise pre-launch calculations. If the target changes speed, zig-zags, or does anything to upset the firing solution, the torpedo misses its mark.

But with the media unwilling (or unable) to call Tehran’s military bluff, the exaggerated claims continue. After Wednesday’s launch, a senior Iranian officer told reporters that “our missiles are ready for the shooting at any time or place.” He said the purpose of the exercise was to show “we are ready to defend the integrity of the Iranian nation.”

In reality, his claims about a “hair-trigger” alert status are a bit of a stretch. Under some scenarios, it would take Iranian crews several hours to mount a strike due to the technology used in their missile systems. For example, older Shahab-3 variants use highly-voliatle liquid fuel, which must be loaded onto the missile before it can launch. While a highly-proficient crew can prepare the missile for firing in about an hour, less-skilled personnel may need two or three hours to complete the same task.

That’s a critical concern because it means the missile will sit at a fixed site while the preparations are made, increasing its vulnerability to detection and air attack. The problem is further compounded by the limitations of some Shahab-3 launchers which cannot raise an already-fueled missile to the firing position. As a result, the missile must be elevated prior to fueling, making the Shahab-3 easier to detect.

However, those problems do not mean that Iran’s missile threat can be ignored or marginalized. Ballistic missile “hunting” remains an imprecise art, at best. In a country like Iran (which is roughly the size of Alaska), there are plenty of launch sites where Shahab-3 crews could escape detection and targeting. Tehran also has detailed knowledge of our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, sometimes scheduling missile movements and other activities during “gaps” in overhead coverage.

Iran has also invested in underground facilities for its missile units, allowing crews to conduct maintenance and training operations without being detected by intelligence systems. One such facility, built specifically for the Shahab-3, contains a vertical launch shaft, permitting the missile to be fueled and fired with minimal warning. Tehran has also begun building in-ground silos for some of its missiles, making it more difficult to monitor activity. These trends, coupled with Iran’s efforts to build more missiles and outfit them with nuclear weapons, are reasons for concern.

Still, it’s important to place events like the missile test in their proper context, at least from an operations perspective. Iran’s ballistic missile forces are improving, but they remain hindered by old technology and limited accuracy. It would be difficult (at least over the short term) for Tehran to build a nuclear weapon small enough to fit atop one of its existing missiles. Until that obstacle is overcome, Iran will lack a viable option for delivering a nuclear device, particularly against distant targets.

The bad news is that Iran has the cash, resolve, and technological access to overcome these obstacles. Liquid-fueled systems are being replaced by solid-fueled missiles and rockets (which can be launched in a matter of minutes) and left unchecked, Tehran will eventually get its hands on technology for smaller nuclear warheads, ideal for short and medium-range missile systems. Measures aimed at concealing missile and nuclear activity are also improving.

From a technical and military standpoint, Iran revealed nothing new in Wednesday’s test. Indeed, the event was (to some degree) an exercise in opportunism, allowing Tehran to grab some headlines, boost oil prices, and send messages to its adversaries at the end of a G-8 summit and in the middle of a U.S. presidential campaign. While preparations for the test began weeks or months ago, it is possible that Iran delayed the launch until the “right” political moment arrived.

And that brings us to a pair of salient points, with clear implications for our future dealings with Tehran. First, it would be reassuring to know that our intelligence community wasn’t fooled by today’s launch. A good barometer in that area is the presence of an RC-135 Cobra Ball aircraft, which tracks missile tests at long range. With sufficient warning from various intel sources, “The Ball” is usually in position ahead of time, ready to collect data with its infrared telescopes and other on-board systems. The appearance of Cobra Ball (or other intel platforms) also sends a powerful message to our adversaries: we know what you’re up to. On the other hand, if our sensors weren’t in position, it would raise the dire prospect that we’re losing track of the Iranian missile program and other, more ominous activities.

The final point focuses on the larger question of dealing with Iran and its WMD ambitions. Not long after Wednesday’s missile salvo was revealed, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama called for more sanctions against Iran and direct negotiations. But we’ve been trying that approach for several years (largely through the European Union), with no appreciable progress. Why does Mr. Obama believe the failed policies of the past will now work with the clerics in Tehran?

If anything, the missile test is a reminder that there are limits to diplomacy, and at some point the next commander-in-chief may be forced to try something else. Senator Obama’s refusal to consider those other options will only embolden Iran, and likely lead to further acceleration of its missile and nuclear programs. There’s no way you can read “too much” into that reality.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/is-tehran-bluffing/

URLs in this post:
[1] test-fired: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/09/mideast/iran.php
10926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 10, 2008, 09:42:15 AM
1. China must have seriously scary intel to ask for our help.

2. We must have made a interesting deal to risk putting NEST into the den of China's intelligence apparatus.

3. China's policy of supporting the global jihad to confound the US has now officially entered into the "blowback" stage, although I believe it well may have started quite a while ago, but has been hidden by the PRC.

4. This perfectly refutes the "It's all America's fault" leftists/Ronulans that try to explain the global jihad as the result of American foreign policy.
10927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 10, 2008, 09:32:35 AM
Just like the MSM's recent coverage of honor murders in the US. Funny how the "M" word is avoided like the plague.  rolleyes
10928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aerial Wolf Shooting. on: July 10, 2008, 09:27:52 AM
John,

I'm not sure how exactly the Bush administration removed legislation passed by congress, can you explain how that happened?

I'm going to guess you having internet access means you don't live as a hunter-gatherer, in harmony with the earth with no ugly carbon footprint, yes?
10929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 10, 2008, 09:18:53 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4304504.ece

From Times Online
July 9, 2008
Police shoot dead five members of 'Chinese al-Qaeda'
Jane Macartney in Beijing

With less than a month to go before the Olympics open in Beijing, Chinese police have shot dead five members of a Muslim ethnic minority they said were bent on waging holy war inspired by al-Qaeda and setting up an independent state.

Several dozen police entered a residential building hunting for three men believed to have attacked an ethnic Han Chinese woman in a city hairdressing salon in late May but opened fire after an officer was wounded as they tried to enter an apartment to make an arrest, it was reported.

One witness said he heard several dozen shots about three minutes after the police entered the building. He said he counted about 20 police vehicles entering the compound and saw plainclothes police wearing body armour and equipped with light firearms.

State media said when police raided the apartment where 15 ethnic Uighurs were hiding, several rushed out wielding knives, shouting “sacrifice for Allah”.

One officer said the police were forced to use teargas and to open fire, killing five on the spot and wounding two. The wounded were taken to hospital and the other nine people were captured. Witnesses said they saw four ambulances arrive in the compound within 20 minutes of the shooting.

Some 30 knives, the biggest measuring 50 centimetres long, were found in the apartment. There was no report that more serious weapons such as guns, grenades or explosives had been found.

The police officer said: “The suspects confessed they had all received training on the launching of a ’holy war.’ Their aim was to kill Han people, the most populous ethnic group in China whom they took as heretics, and found their own state.”

The incident in Urumqi, the regional capital of the far western Xinjiang region bordering Kazakhstan, was the deadliest encounter to be reported for years between Chinese security forces and suspected militants from the Uighur minority.

The Uighurs, who are engaged in a low-intensity insurgency to demand an independent state of East Turkestan in Xinjiang province, have been blamed for sporadic incidents of violence although no serious attacks have been reported in China for more than a decade.

Washington accuses one group of being linked with al-Qaeda.

China has repeatedly warned of a terrorist threat from Xinjiang and announced at least five separate raids this year in the region that have foiled attacks. In April, police said they crushed a group that was plotting to kidnap foreign journalists, tourists and athletes during the Olympics. In January, police in Urumqi said they broke up a group whose leaders were planning to stage attacks in Beijing and Shanghai with toxic materials and explosives.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, the top official responsible for the Olympics, said yesterday that security was the single most important factor for a successful games. “A safe Olympics is the most significant symbol of a successful Olympics in Beijing, and also the most important symbol to display the national image of China.”

In the latest sign of how determined China is to ensure a smooth Olympics, Beijing will from next week place hundreds of security staff at checkpoints on roads into the city with sniffer dogs and metal detectors.

China has been increasing anti-terror preparations and the top police official last year labelled terrorism as the biggest threat to the event. But this causes a dilemma for a Government eager to show the world that China is a stable nation where visitors can travel without fear of violence. The last known Uighur attack was in 1997 in Urumqi when bombs placed in buses killed nine and wounded seventy-four.
10930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 11:36:36 AM
http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23521751-5005521,00.html

Olympic terror plot 'nightmare'

By staff writers
April 11, 2008 06:17am


AUSTRALIA'S hottest Olympic gold medal prospect Libby Trickett has labelled a plot to kidnap athletes and journalists at the Beijing Olympics "every competitor's worst nightmare".

China says it has cracked a terrorist group plotting to kidnap foreigners during the Beijing Olympics and another that planned to carry out attacks with toxic materials.

"The violent terrorist group plotted to kidnap foreign journalists, tourists, and athletes during the Beijing Olympics and, by creating an international impact, achieve the goal of wrecking the Beijing Olympics," Ministry of Public Security spokesman Wu Heping said of the kidnap plot.

But critics are sceptical, saying Beijing is inflating the terror threat to justify a crackdown on dissent ahead of the Olympics.

Athlete's reaction

Trickett – a hot chance to win six gold medals in Beijing – told The Courier-Mail the threat was even more real because of the bloody legacy of the 1972 Munich Olympics where 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists.

She said it was a relief to know Chinese authorities had foiled the plot in question.

"It's a credit to them (the Chinese Government) that they were aware that these things can happen and they were looking for signs of dangers – that's a huge comfort," she said.

"Obviously that's very scary news, but the Chinese Government and the governments of all other nations will be taking those threats very seriously.

"I won't say concerns won't cross my mind at some point – because to be honest they already have.

"But you can't live your life based on threats and being worried about what might happen – because it may or may not happen."

But for Karen Seebohm, the Brisbane mother of the Australian swimming team's youngest member – 100m backstroke gold medal contender 15-year-old Emily – the news was horrifying.

"Holy hell, that's frightening. The fact that she's very young makes it even more of a worry," she said.

"That would be very worrying for any mother to have to deal with that sort of thing – it doesn't matter how old they are I would think."

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said today that its athletes had no reason to worry about the alleged terrorist threats.

AOC vice president Ron Harvey said security was sufficient and was being constantly reviewed.

"From day one, planning for Beijing has taken into account some of these security aspects and we've been working very hard with the Australian embassy and the Australian Government officials in that area. We believe the Chinese security forces are doing a very good job and we've got faith in them."

Two more foiled plots

News of the kidnap plan follows the revelation by China of two other terror plots last month, but there has been skepticism over whether Beijing is inflating a terror threat to justify tighter control on dissent ahead of the Olympics.

Both plots were allegedly uncovered in the vast and remote Xinjiang region in northwest China, which borders Central Asia and has a strong Muslim population of Turkic-speaking ethnic Uighurs.

Wu said they were both orchestrated by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is listed by the United Nations and the United States as a terrorist organisation.

The kidnapping plot, which involved 35 people, was cracked in late March and early April in several areas of Xinjiang including the regional capital Urumqi, according to Wu, whose comments were posted on the government's main website.

In the other case, police in January broke up a group whose leaders were "sent from abroad" by ETIM to stage attacks in Beijing and Shanghai with toxic materials and explosives, he said.

Targets were to include "hotels, government buildings, military bases and other establishments".

If discovered by police, the plotters were ordered to "perish together", according to Wu, who added some of its participants had been sent abroad for training, without giving specifics.

Police allegedly seized explosives and Islamic "Jihad" training materials in the raids on both groups.

Wu did not say why the government had waited to release the information.

Threats exaggerated?

China maintains it faces an imminent terror threat from ETIM.

However, some Xinjiang experts and exiled Uighurs have said China vastly inflates the threat to tighten its control over the restive and oil-rich region.

Many Uighurs say they have suffered widespread repression under nearly six decades of Chinese rule, and have chafed as Han Chinese flooded into their homeland and dramatically changed their way of life.

Xinjiang officials had said last month that police on January 27 smashed a terrorist group planning an attack on the Beijing Olympics and that a separate bid to blow up a Chinese airliner was foiled in March.

Chinese authorities have refused to publicise evidence relating to either incident, fuelling accusations from rights groups and exiles that the plots had been fabricated by Beijing.

China said two terrorists were killed and 15 captured in the January 27 raid in Urumqi, but residents in the area told an AFP journalist who went there last week they had no recollection of any violent clash.

After the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, China pressured the United States - which sought Beijing's help in its so-called "war on terror" - to list ETIM as a terrorist group, Xinjiang experts say.

Critics say China has since abused that listing to justify crackdowns in the region.

- AFP, Courier Mail
10931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 11:22:01 AM

China training for Games 'attack'

The UN's nuclear watchdog says it is training Chinese security officials to deal with a possible radiological attack during the Olympics Games.

Nuclear experts have staged simulated exercises with Chinese officials, although the watchdog said it was unaware of any specific threat.

Drills included what to do if a so-called "dirty bomb" was smuggled into an Olympic venue in Beijing.

The games are due to be held in the Chinese capital from 8-24 August.

"The awareness after the 9/11 attacks [was] that there are basically no limits for what can be done," said Anita Nilsson, of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Office of Nuclear Security.

"In this case it is better to be proactive, to review the practices and to put them up to standard and to implement them," she said.

IAEA and Chinese officials have carried out a series of simulated exercises in Beijing, including how to respond to the discovery of a suspected "dirty bomb" in a restaurant.

A "dirty bomb" is a weapon designed to contaminate the local environment by disbursing radioactive material.

Peter Colgan, one of Dr Nilsson's deputies, said the exercises had gone "very well".

Dr Nilsson warned that the same threats would exist for the London Olympics in 2012.

"There is a major shift in threat perception over the last five to 10 years. And we have to take that into account and to do accordingly, whether it is Olympic games in Beijing or London. These measures must be implemented."

Organisers of the 2012 games say "work is progressing to ensure a safe and secure" event.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7412254.stm

Published: 2008/05/23 13:52:49 GMT
10932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 10:49:21 AM

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1791
December 21, 2007   No. 1791

Leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan: ‘Allah Willing, America Will Soon Be Annihilated… We Will Reach America… The Eyes of the Nation of Muhammad are set on Washington, London, Moscow, Paris, Delhi, Beijing'
Following are excerpts from a speech by Muhammad Taher Al-Farouq, leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which was posted on December 3, 2007 at http://ek-is.org, a website hosted in Tampa, FL, and owned by NOC4 Hosts Inc.

To view the clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1636.htm.

Muhammad Taher Al-Farouq: "I would like to congratulate the nation of Muhammad, and especially the mujahideen. In this holy month of Ramadhan, we ask them that, as part of their resistance to the enemies of God, His Prophet, the enemies of the Koran, Islam, and the Muslims, they increase their martyrdom and jihad operations, and fight the sworn enemies of Islam - the Jews, the Christians, and the hypocrites - and carry out the best jihad operations.

[...]

"The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is part of the nation of Muhammad, and it is known by this name to friends and foes alike. The enemies of Islam know this movement by this name. This movement is connected to the Islamic Emirate we had in Afghanistan, under the leadership of the Emir of the Believers, Mullah Muhammad Omar.

[...]

"Our goal is to implement Islamic law, the law of the Koran, in God's kingdom. In other words, this kingdom, which belongs to God, should be ruled by the laws of God alone.

[...]

"Today, the enemies of Islam object to this goal, just like they did during the time of Muhammad, but let me announce to the believers, to the nation of Muhammad, that in the very near future, thanks to the sacrifices made by the nation of Muhammad, we will regain our glory of past times.

[...]

"As long as there are infidels and enemies of God in His kingdom, this movement will continue its jihad. Today, the nation of Muhammad has everything but an Islamic caliphate. We have clerics, mujahideen, and fedayeen, but not a caliphate. One of the most important goals of the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan is to establish an Islamic caliphate at any price.

[...]

"We take pride in the brothers in all the countries of Islam - in Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Palestine, Chechnya, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Africa, and Asia, and in all the countries of the world. We take pride in their jihad to elevate the word of Allah. We have good relations with them. As I've said, their joy is our joy, and their sorrow is our sorrow. We all constitute one body. We all have a common goal against the infidels. When mujahideen are taken by the enemy - whether the Americans or other infidels - to Guantanamo or other prisons, it does not ask them to which nation or community they belong. It treats them all the same way, and tortures all of them the same way."

[...]

Interviewer: "Which countries help you?"

[...]

Al-Farouq: "The countries that supported and helped God's Messenger help us.

[...]

"The money in the infidel banks is the daily bread of the mujahideen. The convoys come from Pakistan, through Torkhan or Karachi, are the daily bread of the mujahideen. The money in the banks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere is the daily bread of the mujahideen. The governments that use this money against the Muslims and Islam acquire bombs and airplanes with it, in order to bomb the Muslims. Therefore, this money is the [legitimate] booty of the Muslims.

[...]

"I always tell the mujahideen that if they want to get money, they should beat the infidels and take their money. You must hit them on the head and take their money. You should rob their banks and take the money. You should take their people prisoner, just like the Prophet did. Don't think this is a sin, because the Prophet Muhammad himself exchanged prisoners for ransom. There's nothing wrong with collecting money in exchange for prisoners.

[...]

"Allah willing, America will soon be annihilated, just like the USSR was annihilated. We are convinced of this.

[...]

"The people who made our nation proud by carrying out the 9/11 martyrdom operations in Washington and New York were the 19 best people of our nation. All the martyrs in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, and elsewhere should be seen as role models.

[...]

"Allah willing, we will reach America. The men of this nation will reach America. The goal of this campaign is not only Kabul, Kandahar, or Baghdad. The eyes of the nation of Muhammad are set on Washington, London, Moscow, Paris, Delhi, Beijing, and other countries. This is our goal and, Allah willing, we will get there."

 

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10933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 10:39:38 AM
Home-Grown Uyghur Terrorism

However, it would be inaccurate to characterize the Uyghurs as completely influenced by outside jihadists, for, their own history is rife with violence in the name of Islam. The first major uprising of Uyghur Muslims took place in Northwestern China in 1990 with a series of protests. As a result, China deployed troops and began to conduct military exercises in the region.

In 1996, following the first meeting of the countries that would later form the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), China began clamping down on the Uyghur Muslims. In an effort toward political stabilization, the Chinese implemented measures to improve the economy of the area and built roads, rails and pipelines connecting Xinjiang with Central Asia. But an unanticipated result of this economic expansion was the establishment of alliances in border states for Islamic terrorist training and the smuggling of drugs, arms and people.

In 1997, Uyghur Islamists were responsible for several bombings, including a bus bombing in Beijing. Although an Uyghur terrorist group claimed responsibility for the Beijing bombing, Chinese media covered up this fact as they did with many other terrorist attacks prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States.

China's Position on Terrorism - Pre & Post 9/11

This attitude began to change just prior to 9/11, when Taliban fighters from Afghanistan began incursions into Xinjiang. The activities prompted formation in June of 2001 of the China-initiated, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO was designed to combat Islamism by setting up a terrorist monitoring center, promoting economic development throughout the region and establishing Chinese and Russian hegemony over the area.

At its first meeting, it reached an agreement calling for cooperation to prevent terrorism and insurgency, mutual identification of terrorists and terrorist organizations, suppression of terrorist activities and extradition of terrorists. Member states also agreed to create rapid deployment forces, conduct joint military exercises, investigate sources of terrorist financing and exchange information on illicit WMD manufacturing, purchase, storage and movement.

This represented a huge step forward because, up to 9/11, the Chinese government was not open about the existence and extent of jihadist activities within its country. Chinese authorities viewed acts of terrorism as a police, law-and-order issue rather than a global jihadist effort and believe that disseminating public reports on crime spreads the activity and increases unrest.

After 9/11, China changed its position to show that it, too, was a victim of the Islamist jihad. The government admitted the proliferation of terrorist activities over the previous decade, listing explosions, assassinations, poisonings, rioting and vehicle fires. At the time, they claimed to have uncovered links between Uyghur Muslim groups and Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

At a press conference in Pakistan in 2002, Chinese government officials publicized the arrest of a high-level Uyghur terrorist by Pakistani authorities. The Chinese also requested that the United States repatriate 300 Uyghurs captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, who were alleged fighters for Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

In 2003, China signed an extradition treaty with Pakistan to remand terrorists from the ETIM and the ETLO, whom they believed were affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban and who had received training and funding from Osama Bin Laden. The Chinese government pressured Pakistan, known for its alliance with the Taliban and its promulgation of jihadist ideology, to turn over known Uyghur militants who had escaped to Pakistan. This appeal has not produced significant results.

Recent Uyghur Violence

Jihadist violence has continued to escalate over the last few years. In 2004, Uyghurs trained by the IMU were suspected of involvement in an explosion in Balochistan, Pakistan, in which three Chinese engineers were killed. The following year during the Eid-al-Adha religious celebrations, two explosions from suicide bombings near the Kazakstan border in Xinjiang killed 13 people and injured 18.

In January of 2007, the Chinese raided an ETIM terrorist training camp close to the Afghanistan and Pakistan borders. The raid, in which 18 terrorist suspects died, yielded a large explosives and weapons cache. Also seized was a 32-minute video urging Uyghur Muslims to make use of key public events as a platform to publicize their grievances worldwide. It contained references to a "World Islamic Resistance Book" and the establishment of China as a jihad zone, plus included an impressive display of weapons and explosives and a demonstration of vehicle bombings.

On March 7, 2008, two men believed to be Pakistanis and a Uyghur woman who was trained by a Pakistan-based terrorist group attempted to sabotage a China Southern Airlines flight from Xinjiang to Beijing. The woman, who traveled first class, carried flammable liquids onto the aircraft that but failed to ignite them in the plane lavatory. All three terrorists involved carried Pakistani passports.

Chinese Counter-terrorist Measures

To curtail incidents like those cited above of a potentially burgeoning Islamist threat, the Chinese government maintains strict supervision over Xinjiang and has dealt harshly with terrorist activity. China has successfully altered the demography of the region by repopulating it with Han Chinese, now the majority. To curb the influence of Islam, the government engages in surveillance of mosques, restricts the participation of youth and women in mosque activities, monitors the content of services and curtails participation in the Haj. Muslim clerics or imams who serve in the region must complete their training at a state-controlled seminary and teach "moderate" Islam under the leadership of the state.

A heavy police presence around the mosques and the military exists at the border to prevent smuggling of people and weapons. Police routinely cordon off areas in which terrorist incidents or rioting occurs and remove and imprison the agitators before they reopen the area.

Potential Threats to U.S. Security

The Xinjiang-inspired violence is not restricted, however, to attacks just against the Chinese. In May of 2002, a planned attack by the ETIM on the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Kyrgyzstan was thwarted. At the time, Pakistani authorities found blueprints indicating the location of the embassy, the American military base and a synagogue.

In view of the strategic military and economic importance of Central Asia, the need to protect its interests in the region and pressure from the Chinese, the United States agreed to classify some local groups, like the ETIM, as terrorist organizations and freeze their American assets. Of course, geopolitical concerns over maintaining good, Sino-U.S. relations played a major part in the State Department's classification. The United States wants to ensure continued U.S. military presence in Central Asia in the midst of China's growing economic and political power in the region and any Chinese attempts to check U.S. influence in the region.

Politics is also playing a larger role as the Olympics draw closer and the international spotlight focuses on China's oppression of Tibetans, Falun Gong and other repressed groups. While some may be prone to view the Uyghur Muslims through the prism of China's historical crackdown on religious groups and ethnic minorities, the record of historical, jihadist terrorist activity, listed above, would argue against it.

Despite the Unites States' own grievances with China, serious questions should be raised to better understand the global jihad, its role in China and our fight in the war against Islamic terrorism.

We should ask: how much of the Uyghur separatist struggle has been co-opted by the Islamists and is being used to breed fellow travelers for the jihadist agenda? Who are victims -- the Uyghurs, China or both? Is it realistic for China to fear Islamic extremism, territorial expansion and the spread of insurgency to other aggrieved groups? Is China using the excuse of terrorism as an excuse for a crackdown on the Muslim Uyghurs or is China a victim of the extensive network of Islamic terrorist groups in Xinjiang and Central Asia? Have the Islamists joined forces with Uyghur separatists to capitalize on the struggle in Tibet? Is the West failing to differentiate between radical Islam and legitimate human rights grievances? Is China's "Strike Hard" policy serving to radicalize the Uyghurs and causing them to find common cause with the Islamists? Finally, how can the United States assist China in the mutual fight against global Islamic terrorism and, at the same time, successfully address issues of religious repression and civil rights?

As China faces world scrutiny and the threat of disruptions and boycotts against the upcoming Olympics for its ruthless civil rights violations, we should be mindful of the growing Islamization of the Xinjiang province under the Uyghur conflict. Clearly, jihadist groups are active in the region and have coordinated terrorist actions, recruitment, training and financing. They are dedicated to the establishment of an Islamic state in Central Asia, related to the worldwide Islamic jihad.

As has been evident in other parts of the world, Islamists deftly graft their agenda onto regional political struggles to form unholy alliances and advance their pan-Islamist agenda. We should not be deceived by our zeal to focus on human rights abuses in China or focus entirely on Tibet and the separatists. Instead, this important component of unrest in Central Asia needs its own specific analysis, political action and focused response.


[1] Rotar, Igor, "The Growing Problem of Uighur Separatism", China Brief, Volume 4, Issue 8, The Jamestown Foundation, April 15, 2004, http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=395&issue_id=2935&article_id=236612

[2] Foreman, William, "China Faces Muslim Resentment in West," Yahoo News, April 9, 2008, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080409/ap_on_re_as/china_resentful_muslims


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/04/xinjiang_province_the_islamic.html at July 09, 2008 - 11:36:14 AM EDT
10934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 10:38:47 AM
April 11, 2008
Xinjiang Province - The Islamic Jihad Battlefront in China

By Janet Levy
When the 2008 Summer Olympic Games were awarded to Beijing seven years ago, hope arose that China's new-found status as a modern, world power and position in the world media spotlight would prompt increased tolerance and democracy nationwide. Clearly, that optimism has been dashed by the turmoil in Tibet.

Stellar economic performance and reforms, viewed sanguinely by the West as a sure route to liberalization, have occurred in China devoid of political reform. China's use of brutal force and massive arrests against Tibetan protestors bear witness to this lack of progress. Indeed, China today stands revealed as one of the worst perpetrators of human rights violations and religious repression in the world.

Among those singled out for similar harshness and violence is a portion of China's 30-million-strong Muslim community: the Islamic jihadists of the northwestern province of Xinjiang and surrounding areas. With Tibet in mind, the West may be tempted to view this decades-long unrest in Central Asia as yet another example of Chinese aggression and expansionism against a beleaguered population seeking independence. Yet, such a view is shortsighted and dangerous. For, in truth, the Islamic Jihadists of China's Xinjiang are linked to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Al Qaeda. Their terrorist methods and ideology are of a piece with the larger Islamic Jihadist goal to overthrow existing governments and install a religious theocracy. They, in fact, represent the Chinese battlefront of the worldwide Islamic Jihad.

China's Muslim Population

Inaccessibility to China's far flung regions and the exclusion of questions about religion in the last three national censuses make it difficult to obtain accurate figures about the Chinese Muslim population. But it is estimated at around 30 million, the second largest religious group in China after Buddhists. About 20 million are Hui, concentrated mostly in northwestern China. Another 8.5 million are Uyghurs who reside in Xinjiang province.  

The Hui, culturally similar to the majority Han Chinese, follow Islamic dietary laws and some customs of Muslim dress but have engaged in only limited jihadist activity. Evidence exists of uprisings in two Hui villages, as well as some protest activity against the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. However, discrimination and economic deprivation against the Uyghurs and their push for a separate state have made for more extensive and organized jihadist activities by the militant, Uyghur Muslims throughout Central Asia. The nature of this activity -- the extent to which it is an uprising for a separatist state or supports a pan-Islamist agenda -- is difficult to assess given Communist China's history of repression of religious groups, rampant human rights abuses and lack of a free press, but some conclusions can be made.

The Uyghurs

The desire for an independent Uyghur state is a fairly recent development, dating from the 1930's, but the Uyghurs themselves are a historically nomadic people of Turkic Indo-European origin who can be traced back to the 700s.

The province in which they live, Xinjiang, is large and sparsely populated, representing one-sixth of China's total land mass. It borders Tibet, Russia, Kazakstan, Kyryzstan, Tajikstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Indian state of Kashmir. Xinjiang is rich in oil, gas and mineral deposits. It also has numerous military installations and, until 1996, nuclear testing facilities, giving it significant and strategic military importance to China.

The Uyghurs have a separate language, culture, religion and identity from the dominant Han, who are deemed the "true," ethnic Chinese. Uyghurs hold a multiplicity of identities, including Muslim, Uyghur, Turk or Chinese and have historically been opposed to Han or majority Chinese rule. The Uyghurs in Xinjiang maintain an informal ethnic apartheid. They view the Chinese as inferior occupiers, equate Confucianism and Buddhism with idolatry, and frequent their own stores and restaurants. An estimated 23,000 mosques exist in the region, with many small neighborhood facilities, some financed by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

According to Igor Rotar, a Central Asia correspondent for The Jamestown Foundation, Uyghurs "tend to be more zealous Muslims than their Central Asian neighbors. The majority of local, married women wear burqas, which is quite rare in Central Asia, and middle-aged men prefer to have beards."[1]  Rotar says a Uyghur Muslim in Xinjiang explained to him that "In the Quran it is written that a Muslim should not live under the authority of infidels, and that is why we will never reconcile with the Chinese occupation." China's restrictive policy on family size is also a point of contention in this community.

In direct contrast to this view, visiting Associated Press reporter, William Foreman, recently observed, "Most Uighurs practice a moderate form of Islam. The men wear ornate skullcaps, or "doppi," while most women favor head scarves but rarely cover their faces. Many can be seen dressed in tight skirts or stylish hip-hugging designer jeans and high heels."[2]

As a non-Han people, Uyghurs have been viewed by the Chinese as inferior and portrayed as untrustworthy, shiftless, warring troublemakers. They have been discriminated against in employment and are victims of economic deprivation in an underdeveloped area. Drug use, particularly opium and hashish, is rampant and has added to the hopelessness and poverty. A high incidence of AIDS due to heroin injection appears to have attracted little government intervention to combat the problem.    

The Push for Uyghur Independence

In the 1930s, Uyghur separatists proposed a constitution for a Uyghur republic that referenced Islam and shariah law but focused primarily on economic development and political freedom. The occupation of northern Xinjiang in 1949 by China's military, the People's Liberation Army, was viewed as a hopeful sign because China's leader, Chairman Mao Zedong, pledged an end to "Great Han chauvinism." In reality, Chinese Communists valued Xinjiang, not for egalitarian reasons, but as a strategic and natural, resource-rich asset. Meanwhile, the Han-dominated, Communist Party asserted a unified, Chinese identity and sought to eliminate the distinct Uyghur culture and history.

During the Cold War, the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, surrounded by the Chinese and the USSR, had limited options for self-determination. In the 1980s when restrictions eased in China against ethnic minorities and religious practices, the Uyghurs spoke out about discrimination and injustice. They reasserted their demands for a homeland, which continue to this day. An active Uyghur exile community in Central Asia, estimated at 400,000, has sought to draw attention to the plight of the Uyghurs and their quest for a separate state.

The Uyghur-Jihadist Link  

Motivated by legitimate desires for independence, militant Turkic Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang have, since the 1970's, engaged in terrorist activities. These include killing police and military officers, robbing banks, rioting and bombing. The Uyghurs in Xinjiang, members of the 400,000-strong Uyghurs in the diaspora and other Islamist groups in Central Asia have become part of a pan-Islamic movement that developed since the mid-1980's and includes terrorist activity that intensified after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Islamists in Xinjiang have reportedly received financial support and training from the Taliban in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and the Jamaat-i-Islami of Pakistan.

The potential for the Islamization of the region and the ability of Islamists to capitalize on the existing conflict between the Uyghurs and the Chinese government is a real concern to the Communist government.

The strongest militant Islamist groups in the region include the East Turkistan Liberation Organization (ETLO), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), allegedly linked to Al Qaeda. The IMU renamed itself the Islamic Party of Turkistan and publicly declared that it seeks to create an Islamic state across Central Asia and expand its recruitment efforts throughout the region. For traditional Uyghur separatists, these groups represent a source of wealthy supporters who offer funding, weapons support and terrorist training. They also help buttress and reinforce the global Islamist movement into China. For example, in 1989, Al Qaeda set up a base in China with links to the ETIM and the IMU.

Xinjiang's porous border with Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan facilitates the conducting of terrorist training just outside of China, as well as the movement of weapons, explosives and terrorist operatives. It also enables the indoctrination of Muslims in extremist ideology out of the reach of China.

China reports that the ETIM has ties to Central Asia Uyghur Hezbollah in Kazakstan and that 1,000 Uyghurs were trained by Al Qaeda. They maintain that 600 of them escaped to Pakistan, 300 were caught by U.S. forces on the battlefield in Afghanistan and 110 returned to China and were caught. At the beginning of the conflict in Afghanistan, U.S. forces did, in fact, report that 15 Uyghurs were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

According to B. Raman, former head of the Counterterrorism Division of India's external intelligence agency, the Uyghurs have been approached by the Hizb ut-Tahrir, a political party whose goal is to unite all Muslim countries in a unitary Islamic state. The Hizb ut-Tahrir in Pakistan and in other parts of Central Asia, has sought to use the Uyghurs to set up sleeper cells in Xinjiang.

10935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 10:21:49 AM

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1947
June 3, 2008   No. 1947

"The Islamic Party of Turkestan" [i.e. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Chinese Turkestan] Posts Its Platform on an Islamist Forum
"The Islamic Party of Turkestan" is a jihadist group operating in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (also known as Chinese Turkestan or Uyghuristan), a region in northwestern China inhabited mostly by Muslims.

On May 21, 2008, the Islamist forum Al-Ikhlas (hosted by Piradius.net in Malaysia) posted the party's platform, as issued by its media department. The document sets out the party's goals and beliefs.

The following are excerpts from the platform document:

"We are a group that promotes jihad for the sake of Allah... Its members, [united in] monotheism, devoutness, piety, and jihad for the sake of Allah, aim to liberate Muslim East Turkestan from the apostate Communist Chinese occupation... and impose shari'a [law] in [this region]. By cooperating with the Muslim mujahideen throughout the Islamic world [we aim to] restore the Islamic Caliphate and impose shari'a throughout the world."

"Our Goals Are:

"To train the Muslim Turkestani youth to wage jihad..."

"To prepare the Muslim Turkestani masses [for jihad] and to bring them back to the right path [i.e. to the Salafi creed]..."

"To cooperate with all the groups waging jihad for the sake of Allah throughout the world, in order to repel the attacks of the apostates... and drive the Crusaders, Zionists and apostates from our Islamic world..."

"Principles:

"We believe that, like most Muslim countries, East Turkestan is under the direct and indirect occupation of apostates... and is governed by secular and democratic constitutions and laws...

"We believe that if Muslim countries are under direct or indirect occupation... waging jihad against those who rule them and subject them to apostate laws becomes a mandatory [duty].

"We believe that, since the apostate attacker has invaded our lands, jihad in the path of Allah has become a personal duty incumbent upon every Muslim in Turkestan..."

"We deem it necessary to impose shari'a in East Turkestan and in all [other] Muslim countries after they are liberated from the imperialists and apostates...

"We believe that any presence of the apostate Chinese occupiers - be it military, governmental, political or economic - is a legitimate target for jihad... This statement is a declaration of war upon them, and they must therefore leave East Turkestan immediately."

"We consider the presence of Chinese immigrants in Muslim East Turkestan illegitimate. They represent the most tangible form of Chinese occupation... They must leave Turkestan and return to their places of origin. This statement is [our] first and last warning [to them]...

"We reject... all symbols of Jahili [i.e. non-Islamic] nationalism, as well as the deviant [ideology of] democracy in all its forms, and [declare] our opposition to them...

"We are an independent, organized Islamic group, under the command of an Emir and a leadership... in accordance with the Islamic principles of shura [consultation]."





 

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10936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why is NEST in China? on: July 09, 2008, 10:17:10 AM
http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/etim-pr.cfm

 
 In the Spotlight:
East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)
 
Dec. 9, 2002   Standard Version
 
The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a separatist Muslim group operating in China's western Xinjiang province. ETIM is the most militant of the various groups in the Xinjiang region that demand separation from China and the creation of an independent state called East Turkestan. China has long viewed the ETIM and similar groups as a threat to its territorial integrity, and after the attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, executed a harsh crackdown on the region by increasing its military presence, detaining suspected members, and limiting religious rights. Chinese authorities blame separatist groups, including ETIM, for more than 200 terrorist attacks since 1990, resulting in 162 deaths and more than 440 injuries.

While China has portrayed its battle with ETIM as part of a worldwide struggle against international terrorism, the group's global reach and links to al Qaeda are disputed. In August 2002, the administration of U.S. president George W. Bush froze the group's U.S. assets, and, the following month, the United Nations added ETIM to its "list of terrorists and terrorist supporters associated with Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network." Besides Xinjiang, ETIM cells are said to be operating in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. U.S. officials claim that the group has a "close financial relationship" with al Qaeda, based on information they received from militants currently detained at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A January 2002 Chinese government study found that ETIM members crossed into Afghanistan, where they received training from al Qaeda members, and returned back to Xinjiang to foment terrorist activity. According to the report, ETIM has received money, weapons and support from al Qaeda.

At the same time, critics claim the U.S. decision to recognize ETIM as a terrorist group was a political move, designed to appease China during UN Security Council negotiations over a resolution on Iraq. Human rights groups have accused China of repressing Xinjiang's native Uighur population, the region's Turkic-speaking ethnic majority who practice a moderate form of Sufi Islam. Until recently, the United States had accused China of using the war against terrorism as an excuse to clamp down on political dissent in the region, and castigated the Chinese military for human rights violations against Uighur nationalists. ETIM leader Hahsan Mahsum has denied any connections between al Qaeda and his group.

East Turkestan maintained a measure of independence until the early 1950s, when Mao's victorious rebel armies turned to the peripheries and began securing Chinese borders, capturing Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and East Turkestan. It is the country's largest province, estimated to have approximately 40 million residents, as well as large deposits of oil, gas and uranium. The native Uighurs resisted Chinese occupation until the 1960s, but failed to win support from neighboring Muslim states because of their fractured tribal nature. Since the mid-1980s, however, an active pan-Islamic movement has attempted to cement the opposing groups together, a move that Chinese officials see as a tremendous potential threat.

China has pursued political support for its actions in Xinjiang for several years now. In 1999, Algeria and Saudi Arabia issued statements in support of Chinese territorial integrity after a visit by Chinese president Jiang Zemin, a move that was seen by some as condoning Chinese oppression of Uighurs. China maintains strict supervision over the region, encouraging "moderate Islam" under the leadership of "national imams", who are government-employed officials. As in Tibet, Chinese resettlement policies have resulted in a sharp rise of Han Chinese among the population. The number of Chinese residents has increased from 200,000 to 6 million over the past 30 years. Other counterterrorist measures include the transfer of large reinforcements to the border area in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons and people from neighboring countries, and harsh punishment of people suspected of involvement with the group. Human rights activists claim that during 1997 and the later part of 1996, some 1,000 Uighurs were executed and more than 10,000 were incarcerated for political reasons.

While Uighur dissatisfaction over Chinese rule has been a constant thorn in China's side over the past several decades, until recently, protests were limited to riots and demonstrations. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent independence of several Muslim Soviet republics bordering Xinjiang, as well as the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in the Middle East, have contributed to a rise in terrorist activity in the region. Five Uighurs were killed in riots near Kashgar in April 1990, and the region was put under martial law for several months. In February 1992, six people were killed in a powerful bus explosion in Urumqi, and three months later 22 people were killed in riots in Baaren. The various East Turkestan liberation groups showed signs of consolidation when, in September 1994, the five largest Uighur organizations - the East Turkestan Islamic Party, the East Turkestan People's Party, the Eastern Turkestan Gray Wolf Party, the Eastern Turkestan Independence Organization, and the Eastern Turkestan Liberation Front - met secretly in Gulja to discuss coordinating their activities. In 1995, the province saw sabotage of railroad tracks and oil fields, resulting in extensive damage. The following year, approximately 5,000 Uighurs were arrested after a series of attacks on Chinese interests.

Despite the government crackdown, the separatists' violent attacks have not abated. In March 1997, a bus explosion killed two people and injured 30 on the heels of several bus explosions that took place in Urumqi, the region's capital. An Uighur spokesman, in exile in Turkey, claimed responsibility for the attack, and announced that more Uighurs living in Kazakhstan were prepared to execute additional attacks. Attacks in the form of arsons, explosions, assassinations and kidnappings continued throughout 1998. In 1999, the Chinese government arrested hundreds of activists from dozens of various separatist organizations, a period that saw a significant decline in ETIM's activity. Since then, there have been several armed clashes between the Uighurs and Chinese security forces. In June 2000, a group of Uighurs ambushed a Chinese delegation to Xinjiang, killing one representative and seriously injuring two others.

Although ETIM has traditionally focused on Chinese targets, it may have plans to also attack American interests. In May 2002, two of its members were accused of planning to bomb the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, and were subsequently deported from Kyrgyzstan to China.

Sources

Amer Taheri, 'East Turkestan as a Chinese Colony,' The International Taklamakan Human Rights Association (ITHRA)

Council on Foreign Relations - ' Terrorism Questions & Answers: East Turkestan Islamic Movement'

'Beijing enlists Arab help to fight Islamic movement in east Turkestan,' Muslimedia International, Nov. 16-30, 1999

Boaz Ganor, 'Xinjiang: Profile of a Restless Province,' The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism

 
By Seva Gunitskiy
CDI Research Assistant
vgunitskiy@cdi.org
10937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China vs. Islam on: July 09, 2008, 10:11:48 AM
http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/jun/20/us-nuke-spotters-sent-to-china-before-games/

U.S. nuke spotters sent to China before games
Secret team acts on attack fears

Bill Gertz
Friday, June 20, 2008

EXCLUSIVE:

The Bush administration has dispatched a secret team of nuclear specialists to China in response to Chinese concerns that terrorists may attempt to set off a radiological bomb during the Beijing Summer Olympics, The Washington Times has learned.

The Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) was sent on Chinese intelligence indicating that any attack likely would involve a radiological device - a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material to enhance its effect - said Bush administration officials familiar with the security efforts.

The NEST deployment was disclosed as China announced this week that it is conducting a citywide drill in Beijing to test responses for a radiological bomb attack. It could not be learned whether the NEST unit will participate in the drill.

The deployment to China is unusual. NEST units usually deploy to areas in the United States and use highly classified equipment and techniques.

The team is part of the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration and was ordered to Beijing as part of U.S.-China security cooperation, the Bush administration officials said.

Asked about the dispatch of the nuclear detection team, an Energy Department spokesman declined to comment, noting that NEST deployments are not announced.

Other officials familiar with the NEST said the team is made up of nuclear weapons scientists and technicians, many from Energy Department nuclear laboratories, who will provide specialized technical expertise in Beijing before the Aug. 8-24 games.

Team members will be outfitted with special nuclear detection gear and will operate in secret, the officials said.

A fact sheet from the Energy Department states that the NEST deals "with the technical aspects of nuclear or radiological terrorism."

The groups conduct search operations. If radiation is detected, they will perform an identification of nuclear materials, diagnostics and assessments of nuclear devices and bomb dismantling.

"Response teams vary in size from a five-person technical advisory team to a tailored deployment of dozens searchers and scientists who can locate and then conduct or support technical operations on a suspected nuclear device," the fact sheet states.

The exact size of the NEST being sent to Beijing could not be learned, but the officials said it will include about 10 people.

The teams use compact nuclear detection gear hidden in briefcases, knapsacks or portable coolers. They travel in vans searching for radiation sources, often at night to avoid public scrutiny.

Under the Atomic Energy Act, the State Department is the lead federal agency for deploying the team, which will work with FBI agents in Beijing.

Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said the danger of nuclear terrorism is growing and the NEST teams are limited in dealing with the threat.

"We are entering a brave new world where nuclear energy for peaceful purposes literally is providing the fuel for terror," Mr. Sokolski said. "Against this new security sore, NEST teams should be seen as a Band-Aid."

The International Atomic Energy Agency stated in a staff report May 23 that the agency and China are working behind the scenes to "bolster the country's security and minimize threats."

"We have been working with the Chinese authorities over the last 18 months to add a radiological dimension to their existing security plans so that security for the Olympics is as comprehensive as possible," Anita Nilsson, director of the IAEA's Office of Nuclear Security, was quoted as saying in the report.

The IAEA is working to integrate planning for a radiological attack into existing security efforts for police, intelligence agencies and bomb squads. The IAEA is working with Chinese authorities on radiation detection, physical protection and emergency response.

"To guard and look after the Games and its visitors - as the Chinese are doing - is a responsible way of acting," Ms. Nilsson said.

The agency said no specific radiological terrorist-threat information was issued.

The Beijing city government announced Tuesday that it will conduct its first exercise to test responses to a nuclear attack in preparation for the Olympics.

The drill will involve several Chinese agencies including police, fire and environmental responders, Chinese government official Shan Qingsheng told the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The drill will simulate the effects of a radiological bomb set off inside the Olympic stadium.

The dispatch of the nuclear team to China has raised concerns among some counterintelligence officials because of the past compromise of nuclear weapons secrets to China.

The CIA determined that China obtained through espionage details of every deployed nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal, and the FBI has failed to identify the source despite investigating for more than a decade.

Computer hard drives from a NEST laptop computer that contained nuclear weapons secrets used to disarm weapons disappeared from a Los Alamos National Laboratory vault in May 2000.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, countering nuclear terrorism was made a high priority for U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, based on intelligence reports that al Qaeda planned to assemble and use a radiological bomb in an attack in the United States.

In 2002, the FBI and NEST conducted joint monitoring of Muslim sites in Washington and five other cities looking for signs of a nuclear material, according to U.S. News & World Report.
10938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin on: July 08, 2008, 09:39:09 PM
In America, hard work and education pays off. No matter how the left/professional race hucksters try to spin it, this is the indisputable truth.
10939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment on: July 08, 2008, 08:09:19 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/08/why-do-congressional-democrats-fear-free-speech/

Why do Congressional Democrats fear free speech?
POSTED AT 6:30 PM ON JULY 8, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Efforts in both chambers of Congress have Republicans wondering why Democrats seem to fear free speech.  Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) has proposed limitations on how Representatives can post information to the Internet in a time when we should be demanding more transparency, not less.  According to a source in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein has begun her own campaign to force Senators to seek permission before communicating over the Internet.

Soren Dayton at The Next Right has the story from the House:

In typical fashion, House Democrats are trying to pass rules that stifle debate and require regulation. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration Robert Brady (D-PA). The letter is a response to a debate about whether the House should allow members to use YouTube, first raised by Rep. Kevin McCarthy back in April. …

Well, Capuano’s proposal is a disaster. It creates a list of sites, maintained by the Committee on House Administration that members are allowed to post material. Except, those sites have a caveat:

To the maximum extent possible, official content should not be posted on a website or page where it may appear with commercial or political information or any other information not in compliance with the House’s content guidelines.

In the Senate, the problem gets even worse.  Feinstein (D-CA) would have the Rules Committee act as a censor board, forcing members to get approval for the act of communicating on external websites.  Further, it would appear that the Feinstein proposal would attempt to exercise editorial control over these sites, at least indirectly.

As my source put it, these are the key issues:

Under their scheme, the Senate Rules Committee would become the Internet speech police for everyone in the Senate.
It will be up to the committee to “sanction” which websites and forms of communication they deem appropriate.
The Rules Committee thus gets to pick winners and losers among various websites in terms of which are appropriate for use.
The Rules Committee would get to regulate communication through any site not ending in “senate.gov,” which would include sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Further, this could jeopardize guest posts at sites like RedState and Townhall.
The Rules Committee would require senators to moderate “any public commentary” which would likely mean regulating comments on guest posts and YouTube videos, among other things.
It also raises a number of questions:

Would this rule extend beyond comments to posts on the site?
Would it affect Slatecard & BlogAds?
How about something like The Ed Morrissey Show, which has a live chatroom? Would that have to be moderated?
The Rules Committee would get to act as the “Content KGB” since it can require the removal of content in violation of Senate Rules. And who determines what’s in violation? The Rules Committee.
There are no similar controls on any other form of communication with the public, such as publishing op-eds in newspapers or appearing on radio or television.
The sudden interest in silencing Congress goes right along with the brand-new 9% approval rating the Democratic leadership has earned Congress.  Imagine how much worse it will get when they gag their members and force an end to communication through policy sites, blogs, and Internet media.

Want to ask Feinstein what she’s thinking?  Be sure to e-mail her through her website or call the Senate Rules Committee at 202-224-6352 to express your support for free speech and transparency.  Ask them what they have to hide that the 9% of Americans who still support them shouldn’t find out.

Update: And let’s not forget Feinstein’s other policy goal — re-establishment of the Fairness Doctrine.  Hmmmm.  Can we detect a pattern here?

Update II: Soren had the identity of the House Administration Committee chair.  It’s Robert Brady, not Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas.  I’ve updated the reference in the quoted material.
10940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: July 08, 2008, 07:13:18 PM
Anti-Sharia for Congress   
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Vijay Kumar, an émigré from India who is seeking the Republican nomination in a Tennessee primary Congressional race set for August. He is running on an anti-Sharia platform. Visit his website at kumarforcongress.com.
 
 

FP: Vijay Kumar, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Kumar: Thank you. It is a pleasure to speak with you.

FP: I would like to speak to you today about the anti-Sharia program you are running on. But first let’s begin with your background. Tell us about your life in India, your emigration to the United States, and how you came to your anti-Sharia views.

Kumar: I was born in Hyderabad, India, in 1954. I grew up there in India, in a conservative, middle-class family. I studied classics, political science, and philosophy. During the late 1970s, I was working in human resources for a European construction company, and that work took me to Iran. From 1977 to 1979 I witnessed, firsthand, the radical transformation of Iran from a modern nation to a repressed, fundamentalist state and it left a lasting impression on me. I suppose you could say that my anti-Sharia views began there.
 
The American way of life and its values resonated strongly with me. I emigrated here in 1979 and have been living in the Bellevue area of Nashville for twenty years. I’ve been raising a family and managing my own insurance business, and during it all I’ve been interested in politics.

Right now, our country is dealing with issues – issues like illegal immigration, healthcare reform, the War on Terror – that will shape our politics for the rest of this century. Like many Americans, I’ve grown to feel that the politicians of this country are simply not accomplishing anything on these fronts. As low as the President’s approval rating has gotten, the approval rating for Congress is even lower. So, as a concerned and informed citizen, I’ve decided to run for Congress and help put things on the right track. That’s what living in a democracy is all about.

FP: What has made you make an anti-Sharia platform the central tenet of your campaign?

Kumar: The main focus of my campaign is the War on Terror. What so many politicians do not seem to realize is that our struggle is against more than just “terror.” Terrorism is simply a method, not an end itself. Terrorism is just one tactic being used by Islamic extremists in their effort to force their way of life on the rest of the world. Ultimately, then, this is a struggle over whether the nations of this world will be ruled under Sharia law or not. As Omar Ahmad, founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.”
 
FP: What are your thoughts about CAIR?
 
Kumar: CAIR is a direct manifestation of Mohammed’s Sunna and jihad. CAIR is actually just one part of Islam’s strategy to annihilate the Western culture. It is far more dangerous than any Mohammed Atta or any other jihadists.
 
Lies and deceit are CAIR’s stock-in-trade.  They claim to be akin to a “Muslim NAACP,” but everyone from the Department of Homeland Security, to FBI counterterrorism chiefs, to moderate American Muslims recognizes the extreme rhetoric that CAIR endorses. At least five of CAIR’s board members and employees have been linked to terrorism-related activities. They are fifth columnists, preying upon our values of tolerance and multiculturalism.
 
But CAIR is just one of an untold number of Islamic organizations in our government and university centers. People forget that Mohammed’s last words were to keep giving the money to kafir ambassadors and that is what Islam is doing in Washington, DC. Capitol Hill is awash in Saudi money and our dhimmi political types cannot get enough of it.

FP: What do you think it says about Islam that non-Muslims cannot enjoy the same freedoms in Muslim nations as Muslims enjoy in America and the West – and many countries around the world?

Kumar: This is proof of the legal inequalities that are built into Sharia law. Sharia is a set of laws designed to apply not just to Mulsims, but to non-Muslims as well. Everyone, believer and kafir alike, is supposed to live a life based upon Mohammed. However, kafirs – those who do not believe – are given distinctly different treatment than believers.

In America, we believe that all human beings are created equal, and that all human beings possess certain natural rights; our entire Constitution is just a logical extension of that one idea. To us, Muslims are humans just like everyone else, and therefore they should have the same legal rights as everyone else. Sharia law, on the other hand, is not based on logic or a belief in natural equality. It is based on religious customs, and part of its design is to elevate believers over non-believers.

Yet, we never bring up this inequality and lack of freedom under Muslim rule. We never point out Islam’s long history of destroying or oppressing other cultures. We never remember the suffering of non-Muslims in Muslim nations. We never teach that Turkey was once Christian, or that Islamic jihad has reduced Hindustani culture to half of what it once was. Muslim groups often like to point to Christians as aggressors, citing the Crusades of the Dark Ages, but the West remains silent about people being oppressed in the Middle East today, right now.
 
FP: Why do you think there is such a silence in the West about Muslim tyranny? Why do you think the Left refuses to stand up for those who suffer under Islamic despotism?
 
Kumar: The Left and Islam share many of the same values. Both deny that individuals have a personal ethic. A central authority should control all things. Both insult and denigrate their opponents and see themselves as victors in the movement of history. Both hate the native cultures and individual efforts.
 
The mindset of the Leftist is one of deliberate ignorance.  I was a Leftist, a bleeding heart liberal until a few years ago.  I came from a Marxist family in India.  The Left, by its silence on the issue of radical Islam, has betrayed its own professed ideals, if it has any.
 
The fight against Political Islam should have been led by the liberal intellectuals in our universities, but instead they deliberately and systematically support a seventh century totalitarian ideology that negates all forms of rational thinking, intellectual pursuit, and pluralism - the very ideals which are supposed to be central to the philosophy of the Left.
 
The Liberals have become the lackeys of Islamic imperialism in their words and deeds. They fail to mention the 1,400 years of Jihadists' terror in this world.  How can we cry for the genocide in Darfur and ignore the cause?
 
The media only has a concern for white oppression and white evil. If the source of evil is non-white and non-Christian, they don’t care. Our Leftist media is forcing us to fight this ideological struggle with both hands tied behind our backs. To them, saying anything negative about other countries or cultures is not telling the truth, it is racism. To them, portraying America’s values and accomplishments in a positive light is propaganda – and God forbid they indulge in anything so base as pro-American propaganda.
 
Another aspect of Leftist thought is that there is no absolute morality. Everything is relative, every kind of behavior and belief should be tolerated, and therefore the American system isn’t better than any other. How can we engage in a battle of ideologies when you see all ways of life – even those that preach an end to tolerance and an end to intellectual freedom – as acceptable? And as we can see in the Obama campaign, you can talk about change as long as you serve the same menu of old ideas with a new smile.
 
We cannot see what we do not understand. Our education system is bankrupt at all levels. Our universities do not prepare our young minds to see anything bad about Islam. Here in Nashville at Vanderbilt University you can get a degree in Islamic Studies and never read the life of Mohammed—and never read the entire Koran. You study Sufi poetry, Islamic art and Islamic history viewed as a glorious triumph. No kafirs suffer in this program and there is no history of Jew, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist suffering under Islamic rule for the past 1,400 years. A graduate from this program then goes out into the world professionally trained to be an apologist for Islam, a dhimmi. And this program is standard at all schools, not just Vanderbilt.
 
All of our textbooks teach a CAIR approved history and doctrine of Islam. All of the young minds are trained to never see any wrong in Islam and to blame all the faults of Islam on us.

FP: What should be done about Sharia law in America?

Kumar: First we have to understand that Sharia denies the values of our Constitutional government and that it has been the constant goal of radical Islam to make all peoples submit to Sharia. We must educate ourselves as to the actual nature of Sharia law and its history. Any American who is reasonably informed about Sharia law should recognize that it is incompatible with freedom and our way of life.

Sharia is the legal condensation of the Koran and the Sunna – the words and actions of Mohammed. Because it is based upon the political submission of everyone – Muslim and non-Muslim – to Islamic law, the Koran is a political document. Sharia dictates what literature and art must be. It dictates public behavior. It asserts that kafirs are legally inferior to Muslims. Sharia can’t be reformed, since it is based on religion and ideology. It is unchangeable and its laws can only be interpreted by select Islamic scholars. The heart of political Islam is that Sharia law must rule over everyone, not just those who choose to be Muslim. Sharia denies the Bill of Rights – it allows slavery; it asserts that women are legally inferior; it dictates cruel and unusual punishment, such as stoning or cutting off the offender’s hands and feet; it denies freedom of religion, freedom of the press, or freedom of expression. The goal of Islamic extremists is to see Sharia annihilate all other forms of law, including our Constitution.

Second, we must demand from any Muslim running for public office where they stand on the application of Sharia law in America. In fact, we should demand that all our politicians make their position on Sharia law clear. We must pass laws that ensure the brutality of Sharia law can never be applied to an American woman. Ultimately, it is vital that all of us understand that we are in a struggle of ideologies, with the ways of freedom, democracy, and human rights on one hand, and the ways of oppression, intolerance, and ignorance on the other.
 
FP: Are you optimistic that the West can prevail against Islamo-Fascism and that we will be able to defend ourselves against Sharia?
 
Kumar: No. Too many of our intellectuals do not recognize the threat of Islamo-Fascism. Our public is not being educated about the goals and beliefs of our enemies. Our government is trying to fight organizations, not the beliefs that give rise to them.
 
Terrorists are products of militant ideologies, not vice-versa. Unless we confront the ideology logically and persistently our efforts are futile. However, in the land of the brave and the home of the free we choke on the truth. Our culture is drowning in the growing cesspool of political correctness. The liberal left in the United States and Europe have become apologists for militant Islamic radicalism. They say that the terrorist attacks are the consequence of America's foreign policy in the Middle East and its unconditional support for Israel rather than the continuation of 1,400 years of jihad. How does this explain Al-Qaeda’s attacks in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia? The Left fails to understand the fact that there are few Americans or Jews in India, Thailand, The Philippines, Bali, Nigeria, Sudan, Russia and host of other countries where Islamic radicalism has been waging a relentless campaign of terror.
 
It is a moral imperative to oppose the nations that practice Sharia Law. We must start scrutinizing way more carefully immigration from Sharia practicing nations. Why should we let on our shores those who want to install and live by Sharia? The progenitors of Sharia Law and Universal Jihad are Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia – the true Axis of Evil. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not our allies; they are our enemies. These outlaw nations must be demilitarized, secularized, and democratized. That should be the goal of our "War on Terror.” Make no mistake: unless these nations forego their fundamentalist and militarist theology and join the secular humanity there will not be a lasting peace in the world.
 
FP: Well, the idea of demilitarizing, secularizing and democratizing these regions all sounds good – to an extent. For instance, it has to be ascertained who exactly we are demilitarizing and the problems this may cause, as there are forces in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for instance, that are confronting Islamist terrorists. This doesn’t mean, of course, that those we think are our friends truly are our friends – many are our enemies and we have to become wiser about this. I am just saying there is a certain balancing act we have to shrewdly play. And how one goes about secularizing and democratizing the Muslim world with Muslim populations is a whole other story – and though it would be a providential godsend if this really did occur, it would be an “objective” on our part with huge complications and obstacles, and we’ll have to leave the discussion of this issue for another time and place.
 
Vijay Kumar, thank you for joining us.
 
Kumar: You’re welcome; it’s been a pleasure.
10941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: July 08, 2008, 07:06:11 PM
Since when did women get choice in islam? The idea of women having freedom and independence is a concept of the filthy kufir, not islam.
10942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 08, 2008, 02:07:17 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/08/dems-retreat-on-energy-wait-for-the-wind/

Dems retreat on energy, “wait for the wind”
POSTED AT 10:45 AM ON JULY 8, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Democrats in Congress promised to make energy policy a high priority when they returned after the Independence Day break.  Instead, they have quietly scrubbed the schedule of any votes on their energy bill, afraid Republicans will make them vote on increased domestic oil production and force them to choose between popular sentiment for drilling and their environmentalist allies.  Their strategy?  Well, the Hill chooses a good quote:

“Right now, our strategy on gas prices is ‘Drive small cars and wait for the wind,’ ” said a Democratic aide.

Before the break, Democrats heralded two bills that supposedly showed their leadership on energy: an anti-speculator measure and a “use it or lose it” bill that forced oil companies to drill on federal leases — whether or not they had found oil yet — or lose the leases immediately.  They attacked Republicans who opposed both bills as oil-company lackeys, but the truth is that neither bill produces a single drop of oil to solve the supply crisis.

Now, both bills have disappeared off of the legislative calendar, and the Republicans have ideas of their own.  Politico reports that Mitch McConnell has a plan to peel off moderate Democrats in the Senate to get approval for drilling by combining the effort with conservation mandates.  He already has five Democrats ready to vote for more drilling, and if he can find a few more, he can effectively sideline the Slip-Up from Searchlight and keep him from getting ill:

GOP senators believe that a number of moderate Democrats would be open to legislation that balances increased energy exploration with conservation. If they’re right, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could lose their grip on energy policy, and the Republicans could score a major coup on the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters.

At least five Senate Democrats support more domestic oil and gas exploration, and McConnell is sweetening the deal to make the sale to other moderates: The Kentucky Republican is pushing a package of incentives to boost conservation as well as a measure creating stricter enforcement of commodities markets in exchange for more offshore oil and gas drilling.

Moderate Democrats have now begun asking for a “Gang of 14″ on energy.   Ben Nelson (D-NE) has taken the lead in this demand, and he has nine other Senators from both parties willing to join him.  This amounts to a rebellion against Harry Reid and his knee-jerk opposition to increased domestic production of oil and coal.  His “sick” speech may have been the last straw for Democrats who see the American public demanding more domestic production and recognize the political danger that approaches in November for obstructionists.

Of course, the Democrats always have the option of going into November with the slogan, “Drive smaller cars and wait for the wind.”  I’m sure we’ll see television ads and bumper stickers highlighting that strategy.  Unfortunately for the Democrats, they will be produced by Republicans to demonstrate the utter bankruptcy of Democratic energy policy.
10943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment on: July 08, 2008, 07:18:48 AM
Islamists' Catch-22   
By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Try a little thought experiment.  What would have happened in this country during the Cold War if the Soviet Union successfully neutralized anti-communists opposed to the Kremlin’s plans for world domination?
Of course, Moscow strove to discredit those in America and elsewhere who opposed its totalitarian agenda – especially after Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s excesses made it fashionable to vilify patriots by accusing them of believing communists were “under every bed.”

But what if the USSR and its ideological soul-mates in places like China, North Korea, Cuba, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa had been able to criminalize efforts to oppose their quest for the triumph of world communism?  What if it had been an internationally prosecutable offense even to talk about the dangers inherent in communist rule and the need to resist it?

The short answer is that history might very well have come out differently.  Had courageous anti-communists been unable accurately and forcefully to describe the nature of that time’s enemy – and to work against the danger posed by its repressive, seditious program, the Cold War might well have been lost.

Flash forward to today.  At the moment, another totalitarian ideology characterized by techniques and global ambitions strikingly similar to those of yesteryear’s communists is on the march.  It goes by varying names: “Islamofascism,” “Islamism,” “jihadism” or “radical,” “extremist” or “political Islam.”  Unlike the communists, however, adherents to this ideology are making extraordinary strides in Western societies toward criminalizing those who dare oppose the Islamist end-state – the imposition of brutal Shariah Law on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Consider but a few indicators of this ominous progress:

--In March, the 57 Muslim-state Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) prevailed upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution requiring the effective evisceration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Henceforth, the guaranteed right of free expression will not extend to any criticism of Islam, on the grounds that it amounts to an abusive act of religious discrimination. A UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression has been charged with documenting instances in which individuals and media organizations engage in what the Islamists call “Islamophobia.”  Not to be outdone, the OIC has its own “ten-year program of action” which will monitor closely all Islamophobic incidents and defamatory statements around the world.

--Monitoring is just the first step. Jordan’s Prosecutor General has recently brought charges against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders. According to a lawsuit, “Fitna” – Wilders’ short documentary film that ties certain Koranic passages to Islamist terrorism – is said to have slandered and insulted the Prophet Mohammed, demeaned Islam and offended the feelings of Muslims in violation of the Jordanian penal code.  Mr. Wilders has been summoned to Amman to stand trial and, if he fails to appear voluntarily, international warrants for his arrest will be issued.

Zakaria Al-Sheikh, head of the “Messenger of Allah Unites Us Campaign” which is the plaintiff in the Jordanian suit, reportedly has “confirmed that the [prosecutor’s action] is the first step towards setting in place an international law criminalizing anyone who insults Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.”  In the meantime, his campaign is trying to penalize the nations that have spawned “Islamophobes” like Wilders and the Danish cartoonists by boycotting their exports – unless the producers publicly denounce the perpetrators both in Jordan and in their home media.

--Unfortunately, it is not just some companies that are submitting to this sort of coercion – a status known in Islam as “dhimmitude.”  Western officials and governmental entities appear increasingly disposed to go along with such efforts to mutate warnings about Shariah law and its adherents from “politically incorrect” to “criminally punishable” activity.   

For example, in Britain, Canada and even the United States, the authorities are declining to describe the true threat posed by Shariah Law and are using various techniques to discourage – and in some cases, prosecute – those who do.  We are witnessing the spectacle of authors’ books being burned, ministers prosecuted, documentary film-makers investigated and journalists hauled before so-called “Human Rights Councils” on charges of offending Muslims, slandering Islam or other “Islamophobic” conduct.  Jurists on both sides of the Atlantic are acceding to the insinuation of Shariah law in their courts.  And Wall Street is increasingly joining other Western capital markets in succumbing to the seductive Trojan Horse of “Shariah-Compliant Finance.”

Let’s be clear: The Islamists are trying to establish a kind of Catch-22: If you point out that they seek to impose a barbaric, repressive and seditious Shariah Law, you are insulting their faith and engaging in unwarranted, racist and bigoted fear-mongering.  On the other hand, pursuant to Shariah, you must submit to that theo-political-legal program.  If you don’t, you can legitimately be killed. It is not an irrational fear to find that prospect unappealing. And it is not racist or bigoted to decry and oppose Islamist efforts to bring it about – ask the anti-Islamist Muslims who are frequently accused of being Islamophobes!

If we go along with our enemies’ demands to criminalize Islamophobia, we will mutate Western laws, traditions, values and societies beyond recognition.  Ultimately, today’s totalitarian ideologues will triumph where their predecessors were defeated.

To avoid such a fate, those who love freedom must oppose the seditious program the Islamists call Shariah – and all efforts to impose its 1st Amendment-violating blasphemy, slander and libel laws on us in the guise of preventing Western Islamophobia.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder, president, and CEO of The Center for Security Policy. During the Reagan administration, Gaffney was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, and a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). He is a columnist for The Washington Times, Jewish World Review, and Townhall.com and has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsday.
10944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libertarian themes on: July 07, 2008, 04:57:24 PM
http://www.nwfdailynews.com/common/printer/view.php?db=nwfdn&id=9057

Think about 911 before ditching your landline

Robbyn Brooks
June 29, 2008 - 8:12PM
In some ways, it makes sense to ditch a landline bill and use a cellular telephone service.

And it may be awfully tempting to switch to a Voice over Internet Protocol phone service, such as Vonage, when the company advertises lower rates and no need for a long-distance service.

However, such choices come at the cost of a potentially longer response time for an emergency call.

"911 is sometimes an afterthought," said Daniel Dunlap, Okaloosa County's 911 coordinator.

When a call comes through a landline, a 911 dispatch center can see the caller's physical address at the least, Dunlap said. If you're choking and can't speak, rescuers will still know where to go.

A cell phone call, on the other hand, uses global positioning technology to create a map that helps rescuers locate a caller. Triangulation between three towers pinpoints the location, but even then the result may be off by about 300 meters.

"It might just give me a general location," Dunlap said. "Sometimes, we get the location of the nearest cell
tower instead of the cell phone."

Even so, that technology has its benefits. Dunlap remembers a caller who said he was in Fort Walton Beach when he really was in Destin Commons' parking lot.

Companies that offer phone service over the Internet (VoIP) don't use a traditional 911 center, said Ken Bass, the 911 coordinator for Santa Rosa County.

A VoIP emergency call placed through Vonage, for example, is routed through that company's 911 center. A customer service representative then patches the call through to police, fire or medical agencies.

A couple of problems can emerge then, Bass said. When the call is patched through to a local dispatch center, the caller's phone number and address don't appear on the screen. Also, if callers fail to update their home address information after a move, the wrong address is passed from the VoIP service to 911.

Portability available with that type of phone service can be a hurdle. Vacationers sometimes bring their VoIP phones on a trip and don't realize they need to register a temporary location with the company.

"Their system doesn't know you packed your phone up and moved it," Bass said.

As a rule, 911 is available all the time, whether a caller is paying for phone service or not, Dunlap said.

With a landline, a person needs only plug a working phone to access the service. However, that line may not register with the correct home address because numbers are reassigned by phone companies.

Cell phones work in the same fashion. As long as a phone is charged, 911 calls can be made even if service is not paid for.

Bass cautions that even landlines aren't foolproof.
Those who pay a phone service that isn't at their home should make certain the phone company knows the 911 address is different from the billing address. That mixup occurs often with people who pay for an elderly parent's phone service or with people who have vacation homes.

"The biggest problem is that people don't think they'll ever need 911," Bass said. "None of us do until we have to use it."
10945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libertarian themes on: July 06, 2008, 07:39:57 PM

  MSNBC.com
Post 9/11 dragnet turns up surprises
Biometrics link foreign detainees to arrests in U.S.
By Ellen Nakashima
The Washington Post
updated 12:49 a.m. MT, Sun., July. 6, 2008

In the six-and-a-half years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States.

There was the suspected militant fleeing Somalia who had been arrested on a drug charge in New Jersey. And the man stopped at a checkpoint in Tikrit who claimed to be a dirt farmer but had 11 felony charges in the United States, including assault with a deadly weapon.

The records suggest that potential enemies abroad know a great deal about the United States because many of them have lived here, officials said. The matches also reflect the power of sharing data across agencies and even countries, data that links an identity to a distinguishing human characteristic such as a fingerprint.

"I found the number stunning," said Frances Fragos Townsend, a security consultant and former assistant to the president for homeland security. "It suggested to me that this was going to give us far greater insight into the relationships between individuals fighting against U.S. forces in the theater and potential U.S. cells or support networks here in the United States."

The fingerprinting of detainees overseas began as ad-hoc FBI and U.S. military efforts shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It has since grown into a government-wide push to build the world's largest database of known or suspected terrorist fingerprints. The effort is being boosted by a presidential directive signed June 5, which gave the U.S. attorney general and other cabinet officials 90 days to come up with a plan to expand the use of biometrics by, among other things, recommending categories of people to be screened beyond "known or suspected" terrorists.

Fingerprints are being beamed in via satellite from places as far-flung as the jungles of Zamboanga in the southern Philippines; Bogota, Colombia; Iraq; and Afghanistan. Other allies, such as Sweden, have contributed prints. The database can be queried by U.S. government agencies and by other countries through Interpol, the international police agency.

Civil libertarians have raised concerns about whether people on the watch lists have been appropriately determined to be terrorists, a process that senior government officials acknowledge is an art, not a science.

Large-scale identity systems "can raise serious privacy concerns, if not singly, then jointly and severally," said a 2007 study by the Defense Science Board Task Force on Defense Biometrics. The ability "to cross reference and draw new, previously unimagined, inferences," is a boon for the government and the bane of privacy advocates, it said.

An FBI mission
The effort, officials say, is bearing fruit.

"The bottom line is we're locking people up," said Thomas E. Bush III, FBI assistant director of the Criminal Justice Information Services division. "Stopping people coming into this country. Identifying IED-makers in a way never done before. That's the beauty of this whole data-sharing effort. We're pushing our borders back."

In December 2001, an FBI team was sent on an unusual mission to Afghanistan. The U.S. military had launched a wave of airstrikes aimed at killing or capturing al Qaeda fighters and their Taliban hosts. The FBI team was to fingerprint and interview foreign fighters as if they were being booked at a police station.

The team, led by Paul Shannon, a veteran FBI agent embedded with U.S. special forces, traveled to the combat zone toting briefcases outfitted with printer's ink, hand rollers and paper cards. The agents worked in Kandahar and Kabul. They traversed the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. They hand-carried the fingerprint records from Afghanistan to Clarksburg, W.Va., home to the FBI's criminal biometric database.

As they analyzed the results, they were surprised to learn that one out of every 100 detainees was already in the FBI's database for arrests. Many arrests were for drunken driving, passing bad checks and traffic violations, FBI officials said.

"Frankly I was surprised that we were getting those kind of hits at all," recalled Townsend, who left government in January. They identified "a potential vulnerability" to national security the government had not fully appreciated, she said.

The people being fingerprinted had come from the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. They were mostly in their 20s, Shannon recalled. "One of the things we learned is we were dealing with relatively young guys who were very committed and what they would openly tell you is that when they got out they were going back to jihad," he said. "They'd already made this commitment."

One of the first men fingerprinted by the FBI team was a fighter who claimed he was in Afghanistan to learn the ancient art of falconry. But a fingerprint check showed that in August 2001 he had been turned away from Orlando International Airport by an immigration official who thought he might overstay his visa. Mohamed al Kahtani would later be named by the Sept. 11 Commission as someone who allegedly had sought to participate in hijackings. He currently is in custody at Guantanamo Bay.

Similarly, in 2004, an FBI team choppered to a remote desert camp on the Iraq-Iran border, home to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), whose aim is to overthrow the Iranian government. The MEK lead an austere lifestyle in which men are segregated from women and material goods are renounced. The U.S. State Department considers the organization to be a terrorist group.

The FBI team fingerprinted 3,800 fighters. More than 40, Shannon said, had previous criminal records in the agency's database.

While the FBI was busy collecting fingerprints, the military was setting up its own biometrics database, adding in iris and facial data as well. By October, the two organizations agreed to collaborate, running queries through both systems. The very first match was on the man who claimed to be a poor dirt farmer. Among his many charges were misdemeanors for theft and public drunkenness in Chicago and Utah, a criminal record that ran from 1993 to 2001, said Herb Richardson, who serves as operations manager for the military's Automated Biometric Identification System under a contract with Ideal Innovations of Arlington.

Many of those with U.S. arrest records had come to the United States to study, said former Criminal Justice Information Services head Michael Kirkpatrick, who led the FBI effort to use biometrics in counterterrorism after Sept. 11. "It suggests there was some familiarity with Western culture, the United States specifically, and for whatever reason they did not agree with that culture," he said. "Either they became disaffected or put up with it, and then they went overseas."

Errors in matching, though rare, have occurred. In a noted 2004 case, Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield was erroneously named as a suspect in the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people. FBI lab analysts matched a print lifted from a plastic bag at the crime scene to his fingerprints that were stored in the FBI's criminal database because of a 1985 arrest for auto burglary when he was a teenager. The charge had been dismissed. After a critical Justice Department Inspector General audit, the FBI made fixes in its system. A recent inspector general report found the FBI fingerprint matching to be generally accurate.

Worries about watch list
Civil libertarians, however, worry that the systems are not transparent enough for outsiders to tell how the government decides who belongs on a watch list and how that information is handled.

"The day when the federal government can tell people the basis they've been put on the watch list is the day we can have more confidence in biometric identification," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Vetting the data is the job of analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center, an office park-like complex in McLean run by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Analysts there scour intelligence reports to create the master international terrorist watch list.

"You cannot draw a bright red line and say that's a terrorist, this person isn't," said Russ Travers, an NCTC deputy director. "If somebody swears allegiance to Bin Laden, that's an easy case. If somebody goes to a terrorist training camp, that's probably an easy case. What if a person goes to a camp and decides, 'I don't want to go to a camp, I want to go home.' Where do you draw the line?"

Investigators are working on ever more sophisticated ways to evaluate the data. Analysts at the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, for instance, use software to scrutinize intelligence reports from sources such as electronic surveillance and informants. They then link the information to a person's biographic and biometric data, and look for relationships that might detect terrorists and plots.

For example, a roadside bomb may explode and a patrol may fingerprint bystanders because insurgents have been known to remain at the scene to observe the results of their work. Prints also can be lifted off tiny fragments of exploded bombs, said military officials and contractors involved in the work.

Analysts are not just trying to identify the prints on the bomb. They want to find out who the bomb-carrier associates with. Who he calls. Who calls him. That could lead to the higher-level operatives who planned and financed attacks.

Already, fingerprints lifted off a bomb fragment have been linked to people trying to enter the United States, they said.

In a separate data-sharing program, 365 Iraqis who have applied to the Department of Homeland Security for refugee status have been denied because their fingerprints turned up in the Defense Department's database of known or suspected terrorists, Richardson said.

If Iraq and Afghanistan were a proving ground of sorts for biometric watch-listing, the U.S. government is moving quickly to try to build a domestic version. Since September 2006, Homeland Security and the FBI have been operating a pilot program in which police officers in Boston, Dallas and Houston run prints of arrestees against a Homeland Security database of immigration law violators and a State Department database of people refused visas. Federal job applicants' prints also are run against the databases. To date, some 500 people have been found in the database and thus are of interest to Homeland Security officials.

Steve Nixon, a director at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said the effort is key to national security.

"When we look at the road and the challenges, globalization and the spread of technology has empowered small groups of individuals, bad guys, to be more powerful than at any other time in history," he said. "We have to know who these people are when we encounter them. A lot of what we're doing in intelligence now is trying to identify a person. Biometrics is a key element of that."

Staff researcher Richard Drezen contributed to this report.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25550354/
10946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment on: July 06, 2008, 09:25:47 AM
The Erosion of Free Speech   
By Janet Levy
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 04, 2008

Although the headline of the June 8th article in the Daily Times of Pakistan read “Pakistan to ask EU to amend laws on freedom of expression,” the request from high-level government officials was in reality a threat. The six-person Pakistani delegation was set to deliver a warning that unless blasphemy against Islam stopped, terrorist attacks against European assets could escalate. Their cited example was the suicide bomb attack this June 2 on the Danish Embassy in Pakistan in which eight people died and 27 were injured as a result of possible renewed backlash to the 2005 publication of 12 editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

Islamabad informed the European Union countries that the backlash to perceived insults to the “religion of peace” could jeopardize “inter-religious harmony” and result in uncontrollable attacks on other diplomatic missions abroad.  A high-level delegation representing the Pakistani government was to travel to Brussels to further warn EU officials of the liabilities of free expression.

This apocryphal grandstanding, in which Islamabad seeks to eradicate free speech and reclassify it as an offensive hate crime, is part and parcel of the insidious Islamic effort to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate under shariah law.  Paradoxically, in most of the Muslim world, the right of free speech is nonexistent. Verbal and physical attacks on non-Muslims are rampant, as is death for apostates, terrorism training for youth, hate indoctrination of non-Muslims in mosques and schools and the oppression of Christians, Hindus and Jews. But Muslims feel free to use democratic precepts in the service of their own radical ideology to, ultimately, overthrow liberty, eliminate individual rights and destroy freedoms in Western societies.  They seek prohibitions on free expression to strengthen Islam, pave the way toward Islamization and keep the Western public ill informed and unaware of potential threats to the democratic way of life.  By couching this effort as merely the elimination of offensive speech, they conceal their true goal of undermining the laws of Western societies, specifically the very foundation of democracy – free speech.

This goal was dramatically illustrated in March of 2008, when the 57 Muslim states that make up the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) struck a blow against free speech by successfully forcing through the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) an amendment to a resolution on Freedom of Expression.  The amendment, requiring extensive changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, officially characterizes as abuse and an act of religious discrimination any criticism of Islam. It also calls for the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to report any individuals and news media issuing negative comments about Islam.

In June, this limitation on free speech was further underscored when representatives of two non-governmental organizations sought to address stonings, honor killings and female genital mutilation sanctioned under shariah law.  As part of the effort to mute criticism of Islam, the Egyptian UNHRC delegate demanded that the speakers be silenced, proclaiming, “Islam will not be crucified in this Council.”

Thus, banned from UNHRC sessions is criticism of shariah laws that oppress women, condemn homosexuals and threaten converts and non-Muslims. Also banned are statements against Islamic law-sanctioned child marriage, honor killings, the hanging of homosexuals and the murder of apostates.

The United Nations is not the only front where Islamic gag orders are in place. Canada’s Human Rights Act, which defines hate speech as any speech “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt,” was used against Ezra Levant, the former publisher of The Western Standard, who was charged by the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission with offending Muslims by reprinting in 2006 the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Thus, Canada is increasingly regulating opinion and making it a crime to hurt someone’s feelings.  The right of free speech is being replaced by the right not to be offended.

Also in Canada, author Mark Steyn and MacLean’s magazine were charged by the Canadian Human Rights Commission of “spreading hatred and contempt” for Muslims by publishing in 2006 an excerpt from Steyn’s book, “America Alone.”  The Canadian Islamic Congress filed a complaint with the commission, seeking to ban opinions such as Steyn’s that they deem “Islamophobic.”  Steyn was charged with hate speech for using the term “Mohammedan” to describe Muslims and for failing to incorporate differing points of view in his writing.  Although charges were dismissed in June this year, if they had been found guilty, financial penalties could have been assessed against MacLean’s, which would dampened opinion journalism throughout Canada.  Yet, a Canadian investigator in the Steyn/MacLean’s case, when asked about the importance of free speech in his considerations, remarked, “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”

In the United Kingdom, two Christian clerics were recently prohibited from preaching and handing out biblical tracts in a “Muslim area.”  In an ironic twist, a Muslim police officer charged with upholding British law accused the ministers, technically agents of the Church of England, of perpetuating a hate crime by proselytizing. Thus, an officer charged with maintaining law and order in England prevented the preaching of the doctrine of the established faith of England.  Curiously, this event occurred at a time in which the UK is accelerating the hiring of British police officers in Muslim areas in order to “build bridges” with the Islamic community.

Last month, when the Bishop of Rochester warned that Britain was developing “no-go zones” that are the exclusive province of Muslims, he was denounced as Islamophobic. His fellow bishops and government ministers denied the existence of such Muslim-only areas.  The Bishop and his family were placed under police protection after receiving death threats at home warning that he would not “live long” if he continued to criticize Islam.

Yet, “no-go” zones do exist and are apparently being preserved by agents of the British state. They are areas where it is dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, as demonstrated in 2006, when former Home Secretary John Reid was heckled by Islamist Abu Izzadeen who cried, “How dare you come to a Muslim area.”

In January, 2007, the UK government again ignored its illustrious heritage of freedom of expression and undertook an investigation of a television broadcast of the documentary, “Undercover Mosque.”  The program contained footage of radical imams in British mosques spewing hatred of Christians and Jews, advocating the subjugation and beating of women and praising Osama Bin Laden. Other footage included a Taliban who had killed a British soldier and Muslim clerics advocating Islamic supremacy, suggesting that homosexuals should be killed, calling for jihad and justifying the July 7th London bombings.

Instead of scrutinizing the mosques and calling for an end to such hateful and inflammatory rhetoric, British authorities, bowing to pressure from terrorist-sympathizing groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, the Muslim Council of Britain and others, denounced the program as “Islamophobic.” Local police solicited the services of the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS), which launched an extensive investigation of the network, scrutinizing 56 hours of media footage for possible prosecution under the Public Order Act of 1986: showing inflammatory material likely to stir racial hatred. 

Eventually, the investigation concluded that, although the CPS believed that the editing process had “completely distorted” the sermons of the Muslim clerics, the police were advised to drop their criminal investigation due to insufficient evidence to substantiate charges of incitement.

Essentially, “Undercover Mosque” was an important story to potentially alert the British public to the threat of a fundamentalist ideology endemic throughout the British Islamic community.  Unfortunately, it was discredited by the police who, in a misguided attempt to prevent Muslim backlash in the community, were placed in the untenable position of supporting radical Islamists and opposing British free speech.

Thus, as Islamic calls to prayer ring loudly throughout England from an ever-increasing number of imposing mosques, Christianity, individual freedom and the British identity are being marginalized while Islam is permitted free rein to fill the void.

Within the United States, important dialogue about the threat of radical Islam was silenced by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department which issued a memo in May instructing bureaucrats on how to talk about the “war on terror.” The memo called for restrictions on terrorist-defining nomenclature in accordance with recommendations from American Muslims.  Thus, definitive and descriptive words such as “jihad,” mujahadeen,” “Islamic terrorist,” “Islamist,” or “holy warrior” were to be avoided, even though Muslims and Muslim media worldwide use this very terminology.

The government memo also advised that the war on terror be renamed a “global struggle for security and progress.”  This change, undertaken to avoid glamorizing the appeal of Islamist ideology and reduce terrorist recruitment, came about after the Secretary of Homeland Security solicited assistance from American Muslims.  These newly proposed “speech codes” were advanced with the intent of eliminating the appeal of the virulent ideology of Islamism.  Thus, the State Department and the DHS advanced the idea that terminology used by the government could fan the flames of radicalism, yet totally ignored the impact of violent rhetoric common in mosques across the country and on the Internet. Instead, the government focused on curtailing the speech of public servants charged with preserving our national security and accommodated the demands of Muslims. Lost was the opportunity for effective communication to inform and alert the American public of the Islamist threat.   

Another instance of DHS curtailment and accommodation of Muslims, occurred when Muhammad Rana, a Pakistani Muslim and new DHS hire was being trained as an adjudication officer at the agency’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Rana participated in a seven week training course in which he claimed to have faced discrimination based on his religion and national origin.  In a March 2005 complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Rana said the instructional content of his classes contained “disparaging and factually inaccurate information about the Islamic faith and the Arabic people.”  His in-class protests apparently prompted an instructor to recommend that Rana be investigated for possible terrorist ties.  An administrative law judge ruling found that Rana had been subject to a hostile work environment and ordered $50,000 in compensatory damages, $6,195 in missed overtime, reimbursement for medical and prescription medication costs incurred as a result of the hostile work environment and, most significantly, the removal and destruction of and DHS memoranda regarding Rana’s potential ties to terrorist organizations.  Ultimately, the course in question was discontinued by the DHS.

In these ways, our constitutional right to freedom of expression is being eroded and our democratic principles are being used against us to silence our concerns.  With increasing frequency, free speech is being regulated, banned or categorized as a hate crime through intimidation tactics and apocryphal human rights concerns. We have come to the point where publishers have volunteered to pulp or alter the text of books to avoid lawsuits. Major newspapers freely chose not to publish the controversial Mohammed cartoons. Some organizations that have weathered costly slander lawsuits designed to silence them, have become cautious about weathering other suits that could cost them their insurance coverage.

None of this is coincidental. It is explained in “The Project,” a strategic planning document of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) written in 1982 but captured in a raid in Switzerland in 2001. It describes a long-term plan to take over the West, a roadmap to defeating the West through propaganda, infiltration and jihad using intimidation, subterfuge and influence operations.  The MB master plan calls for Muslims to take advantage of constitutional freedoms and societal openness and seek employment in every sector of American society, including sensitive civil institutions, law enforcement, politics, the media and others. In addition to individual Muslims, many seemingly mainstream and “respected” U.S. Muslim organizations, some active in America since the 1960’s, are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and are actively involved in carrying out its mission of “destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house so that Allah’s religion is victorious over all other religions.”

Thus, the very nature of our republic is being challenged by a redefinition of our First Amendment to appease the demands of Islamists seeking to destroy us.  Sadly, as we accommodate the Islamists, we are capitulating to their violent ideology and discriminatory religious practices and losing our precious rights and freedoms. In this way, we become partners in our own demise and hasten the downfall of the free societies we profess to cherish in the West.

Janet Levy is the founder of ESG Consulting, an organization that offers project management, fundraising, promotion, event organizing and planning services for conservative political causes and issues related to terrorism and national security.
10947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: July 06, 2008, 09:14:08 AM
**I guess NYC's "If you see something, say something" ads have paid off.**

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/07/04/2008-07-04_van_left_on_brooklyn_street_packed_with_-2.html?print=1&page=all

Van left on Brooklyn street packed with hazardous material tied to blast suspect

BY SCOTT SHIFREL AND JONATHAN LEMIRE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Saturday, July 5th 2008, 12:03 AM

A van loaded with gasoline cans, wires and switches that prompted police to swarm a desolate Brooklyn street may belong to a suspect already in federal custody for alleged bomb-making, law enforcement sources said Friday.

The red Ford with mismatched license plates in Sunset Park contained explosives nearly identical to those previously used by Yung (Mark) Tang, who once tried to blow up a renter during a landlord-tenant dispute, sources said.

Investigators crawled over the van at 37th St. and Second Ave. Friday and discovered several 5-gallon containers and 12-ounce water bottles filled with a clear liquid that smelled like gasoline, according to a police source.

The jugs were connected with wires but no obvious detonator could be found, the source said.

"The bomb squad believes they seem similar, and it was found within a few blocks of [Tang's] house," a source said.

Investigators believe that the van had been parked at 53rd St. and Second Ave. for more than a month, and its dangerous cargo was discovered only after a car thief broke into the vehicle Thursday afternoon.

When the thief realized what was inside, he ditched it on a quiet stretch of 37th St. and called the police.

"He thought it might have been terrorism on the day before the Fourth of July, so he called the cops," said an NYPD source, adding it was unlikely the man would be charged in the van break-in.

Although the vehicle was found near where Tang, 38, had lived with his estranged wife, he has been held since May at a federal detention facility in Rhode Island after being caught with explosives in a vehicle while traveling from New York to Massachusetts.

Investigators think he may have been planning to threaten his wife with explosives.

He also faces 50 years for attempted murder, arson and other charges in state court in Brooklyn related to a 2002 bomb attack on a tenant.

The NYPD did not officially identify a suspect Friday, and Tang's lawyer denied his client was connected to the van.

"It may make for a very interesting news story," said George Farkas, "but as far as I know this has nothing to do with my client."

sshifrel@nydailynews.com

With Kamelia Angelova
10948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: July 06, 2008, 08:58:27 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/05/quote-of-the-day-306/

“If you are fighting to install sharia [Islamic law] on this country, you are going to have to be killed"

**Ah, if only europeans had this resolve....**
10949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libertarian themes on: July 05, 2008, 07:19:49 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/07/05/narcoterrorists-i-hate-these-guys/

The global nature of crime in the 21st. century.
10950  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Karambit Vs. straight blades on: July 05, 2008, 05:15:04 AM
Sgt.,

I'm pretty sure i've seen some edged weapon techniques demonstrated as part of a weapon retention system somewhere. It was probably at an ASLET seminar years ago. I'd suggest looking at www.mwarrior.com 's weapon retention/disarming system. It's the best system for law enforcement i've seen.

Why focus on cutting the bad guy's limb when an attempted disarm is a deadly force scenario? www.posai.org has a good model use of force policy for edged weapon carry for officers, in case you need one.
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